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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE MONDAY, DECEMEMBER 12, 1994

CIV (202) 616-2765 TDD (202) 514-1888

EIGHT INDIVIDUALS CHARGED IN ODOMETER FRAUD SCHEME WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Department of Justice today charged eight men with conspiring to roll back odometer readings by as much as 60,000 miles on a minimum of 1,600 motor vehicles offered for sale in the Philadelphia area. Assistant Attorney General Frank W. Hunger of the Civil Division and United States Attorney Michael R. Stiles of Philadelphia said criminal charges against the men were filed in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia. Charges were brought against James J. Rossi Sr., 57, of Philadelphia, Pa.; Donald J. DeJoseph, 57, of Willingboro, N.J.; William L. Pascoe, 69, of Croydon, Pa.; Robert A. Whitfield, 51, of Philadelphia; Gene Krupa, 53, of Levittown, Pa.; Dwight (Ike) Miller, 37, of Schuylkill Haven, Pa.; Ronald S. Dietrich, 30, of Wernersville, Pa.; and Herbert Baskin, 58, of Palm City, Fla. Rossi was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit odometer tampering, two counts of rolling back particular odometers more than 40,000 miles each, and a fourth count of altering an automobile title to hide its actual mileage. According to the charges, Rossi, from August 1987 through 1994, tried to hide his involvement in the scheme by recruiting and setting up individuals in used car dealerships and unincorporated businesses he actually owned and controlled. The government said Rossi conducted business under, among others, the following names: London Motors Inc., Camden, New Jersey; Haddon Motors Inc., Camden, New Jersey; Pike Motors Inc., Hammonton, New Jersey; W.H. Motors Inc., Delran, N.J.; W.L. Pascoe Autos Inc., Hammonton, N.J.; GK Motors Inc., Delran, N.J.; and two Alabama companies, B&R Leasing Inc., and J.D. Motors. Rossi also used these fictitious companies: Banco Leasing Inc.; Capital Leasing Inc.; Gemway Leasing Inc.; Martel Leasing Inc.; R&R Leasing Inc.; and Tobari Leasing Inc. According to the charges, Rossi recruited individuals to run automobile dealerships that purchased late-model, high-mileage cars, then paid another individual to roll back their odometers. Rossi and other individuals forged the mileage on the titles of the cars or entered the false, low-mileage odometer readings on duplicate titles. Rossi and these individuals took the titles to New Jersey where they obtained new titles with the fraudulent odometer readings. The cars were then sold through the dealerships that Rossi controlled. DeJoseph was charged with one felony count of conspiring, from 1989 until 1993, to alter automobile odometers in connection with Haddon Motors Inc., W.L. Pascoe Autos Inc., and B&R Leasing Inc. He also was charged with using the alias "Ricardo Arrieta" to open mail drops in New Jersey for Martel Leasing, Gemway Leasing, R&R Leasing, Banco Leasing, Capital Leasing, and Tobari Leasing, all of which were fictitious entities. Pascoe was charged with one felony count of conspiring, from 1991 until 1993, to alter the odometers of at least 500 motor vehicles in connection with W.L. Pascoe Autos Inc., B&R Leasing Inc., and J.D. Motors Inc. Whitfield was charged with one felony count of conspiring,

from 1989 until 1993, to alter the odometers of at least 175 automobiles. Krupa was charged with one felony count of conspiring, from 1991 until 1992, to alter 175 automobile odometers as president of GK Motors. Baskin was charged with one felony count of conspiring, from 1989 to 1990, to alter 50 automobile odometers as president of Pike Motors. Dietrich was charged with one felony count of conspiring, from July 1990 to December 1990, to alter 52 automobile odometers as president of W.H. Motors. Miller was charged with one felony count of conspiring, from July 1990 to December 1990, to alter 52 automobile odometers, also in connection with W.H. Motors. The charges filed by the United States Attorney's office are the result of a two-year investigation by the New Jersey State Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Philadelphia Field Office. Hunger praised the investigative work by the New Jersey State Police and the FBI, including the work of NJSP Det. Sgt. Mark Emmer, NJSP Det. Daniel Pilla, and FBI Special Agent Peter Pollice. Hunger also thanked the U.S. Attorney's office in Philadelphia and the Odometer Fraud Staff of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for their assistance in the investigation. "Odometer tampering is a serious consumer fraud that can cause thousands of dollars of losses to the unsuspecting buyers of these vehicles," Hunger said. "These prosecutions show that the federal government continues to vigorously prosecute individuals who engage in this sort of consumer fraud." The prosecution is being handled by Gregory T. Everts and Linda I. Marks, attorneys in the Department's Office of Consumer Litigation. ##### 94-695