San Jose men plead guilty to a scheme to defraud used car buyers

Two San Jose men pleaded guilty Tuesday to a conspiracy charge after authorities said they defrauded used-car buyers by undoing their odometers before selling cars on Craigslist.

Ramil Heydarov, 31, and Orkhan Aliyev, 32, each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, according to the US Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California. The third defendant in the plot, Seymour Khalilov, 32, also of San Jose, pleaded guilty on October 12.

According to the plea agreements, from at least October 2017 through December 2020, the men bought cars with high mileage, turned back the odometers and falsified the information to make it look newer. Officials said the men also changed surnames and registrations to inflate the value of car sales and reduce mileage readings.

Then they posted ads on Craigslist and used fake driver’s licenses to pretend they were the previous owners of the cars when they sold them. Authorities said the men sold at least 78 cars with fake odometer readers, resulting in more than $550,000 in losses to victims who bought the cars.

The three men were indicted May 3 on one count each of conspiracy to commit electronic fraud. As part of the plea agreement, they agreed to pay compensation to the victims as part of the plea agreements; Khalilov agreed to pay between $360,000 and $534,072, Heydarov agreed to pay $379,235, and Aliyev agreed to pay $1,6,578 in compensation.

The men are due to be sentenced on February 4. The penalty for conspiracy is 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Officials said the supervised release could follow a prison sentence.

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