Action News Jax Investigates: Odometer fraud

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A local man said he's been taken for a ride and lost his hard earned cash.

Jeff Eads, of Jacksonville, told Action News Jax, "It’s very frustrating, I was (defrauded) out of a significant amount of money that I work hard for."

After months of searching on his own, Eads contacted us for help finding the man who sold him a truck that he said wasn’t worth what he paid for it.

In March 2017, Eads answered a Craigslist ad for a 2003 Chevy Silverado with 132,000 miles. He paid $4,600 cash for the truck. What Eads didn't know is the same truck had been sold just days earlier, but the mileage then was 210,000 miles, a roll back of almost 80,000 miles.

Eads tracked down the previous owner, who said the man he sold it to called himself "Alex," the same name given to Eads.

Action News Jax investigator Paige Kelton asked, "So the person who sold you this truck, his name is nowhere on here (on the title)?

Eads replied, “He identified himself as Alex." 

Using a phone number, Facebook, pictures and countless social media posts, we found "Alex." His real name is Amir Osmanovic, and we went to his Jacksonville home.

Kelton asks, "Did you roll back the miles on that truck?

Osmanovic responded “I don't want to comment."

Using a picture and video, both Eads and the truck's previous owner both identified Osmanovic as the man they did business with.

We dug into his past and found Osmanovic has been in trouble before.

In 2011, he was driving without a license when he hit and killed a Jacksonville man at a fruit stand.

Three years later, in 2014, he violated probation and sold a local woman a stolen laptop.

Osmanovic pleaded guilty to both the crash and dealing in stolen property. He went to prison three times, spending a total of more than 15 months behind bars.

Osmanovic was released in June of 2016. Fast-forward one year to June of 2017, and the now 24-year-old allegedly broke the law again.

Three months after Eads said he was scammed out of thousands, Osmanovic was caught by the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office trying to sell a truck with an altered odometer. It had been rolled back more than 200,000 miles.

On Sept. 19, Osmanovic pleaded guilty, but instead of prison time, he received probation. That's because the state attorney didn't know about Eads and his Chevy Silverado.

Eads filed a complaint with the Florida Department of Highway and Motor Vehicles, but more than four months later, nothing had been done. Action News Jax made inquiries and just this week, was told Eads case has been forward to the Florida Highway Patrol for criminal investigation.

We also found because Osmanovic’s June arrested happened after Eads said he was sold the altered truck, Osmanovic likely isn’t in violation of his probation.

A State Attorney's Office spokesman said, "If the incident happened before probation was issued/case resolved, it would not impact the probation he was on. If it happened while he was on probation, then it could be considered a violation of that probation.“

In the meantime, Eads doesn't have a title to his truck, and likely won’t until the state is through with its investigation.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, since 2014, it has investigated 1,118 cases of odometer fraud.

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi’s website highlights four ways to spot if your odometer has been tampered with:

  • Look for oil-change stickers, service records or warranty cards that may reflect the mileage of the vehicle.
  • Ask to see the odometer statement received by the person who is selling the vehicle to you in order to find out the mileage at the time he or she bought it.
  • If buying from a dealer, contact the previous owner to ask about the mileage and condition of the vehicle.
  • Check the car’s door frame. If an odometer is repaired or replaced and the odometer is incapable of registering the same mileage as before the repair or replacement, the odometer should be adjusted to read zero and a notice must be attached to the door frame specifying the mileage prior to replacement.

Useful information, including the names of previous owners and vehicles’ history of owners and odometer readings, can be obtained from the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. Consumers may perform a Motor Vehicle Records Request by filling out and submitting Form 90510, available online at https://www.flhsmv.gov/resources/forms/.

 

File complaint

If you believe you have been the victim of odometer fraud, file a complaint with the Attorney General’s Office online at www.myfloridalegal.com or by phone toll-free at 1-866-9-NO-SCAM. Additionally, if you purchased the car from a dealership, you may want to report the fraud to the Better Business Bureau at www.bbb.org.

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