December 6, 2006
Kansas City, Mo. — A Kansas City man faces criminal charges of knowingly defrauding car buyers in an odometer scam. Shane Russell (DOB 2-2-67) was indicted on charges of unlawful merchandising practices by the Jackson County grand jury at the request of Attorney General Jay Nixon, whose office will prosecute the case.
The defendant is charged with three counts of unlawful merchandising practices in connection with the attempted sale and sale of automobiles to consumers in which he misrepresented how many miles were on the odometers. According to the indictment, Russell worked at First Class Auto and Marine located at 14501 East U.S. Highway 40 in Kansas City. He allegedly sold a Chevy Blazer to a consumer for $8,000 while falsely claiming it had just 55,000 miles on it and neglecting to inform the victim that he had replaced the odometer on the vehicle.
"State law requires that a dealer or an individual selling a used car must reveal to a potential buyer the total number of miles registered on the odometer and any alteration done to the odometer," Nixon said.
Unlawful merchandising practices is a Class D felony under Missouri law, punishable upon conviction by up to four years in prison and a fine of $5,000 per count. The pending charges against the defendant are merely accusations. As in all criminal cases, the defendant is presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty.
Nixon offers the following common-sense tips to avoid odometer fraud when purchasing a vehicle: