2 South Salt Lake men plead guilty in federal court to odometer fraud

Two South Salt Lake men have pleaded guilty in federal court to selling used vehicles with tens of thousands more miles on them than the buyers were told.

Two South Salt Lake men have pleaded guilty in federal court to selling used vehicles with tens of thousands more miles on them than the buyers were told. (Billion Photos, Shutterstock)

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SALT LAKE CITY — Two men accused of engaging in an extensive odometer fraud scheme have entered guilty pleas in federal court.

Austin Kahle Weilacher, 21, of South Salt Lake, and Porter Rockwell Jacob Hamblin, 19, of South Salt Lake, were indicted in August by a federal grand jury on six counts each of making false odometer statements.

On Thursday, Hamblin pleaded guilty to three counts of making false odometer statements. Weilacher pleaded guilty to the same charges last week. The grand jury also indicted Austin Timbrell Benson, 20, of Draper, of the same six counts, but the charges against him were dismissed in November, according to court records.

The men are accused of buying used cars, disabling the odometers, and then selling those cars while claiming they had tens of thousands fewer miles, or even 100,000 fewer miles on them than the cars actually had. Investigators say the men then used their earnings to buy sports cars for themselves.

"They also admitted they sometimes listed the vehicles with different vehicle identification numbers and/or with lower mileage. Hamblin and Weilacher would then sell the vehicles for an inflated price to consumers in the Salt Lake Valley," according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney for Utah Trina Higgins. "As a result of the scheme, Hamblin and Weilacher caused buyers of used vehicles to pay more for the vehicles than they would have paid if they had known the vehicles' correct mileage readings."

Charging documents say Weilacher and Hamblin bought and sold the cars. The federal charges list six cars that were sold between May and July 2023 had 70,000 to 98,000 more miles on them than buyers were told.

With their profits, investigators say the group was paying cash for sports cars and other high-priced vehicles, such as a Corvette, McLaren, Porsche, Lexus and a Ford F-150.

Unified police, who started the investigation before it became so involved that agents from the Department of Homeland Security were called for assistance, identified at least 10 victims.

Hamblin is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 16 and Weilacher on Aug. 29.

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Pat Reavy is a longtime police and courts reporter. He joined the KSL.com team in 2021, after many years of reporting at the Deseret News and KSL NewsRadio before that.


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