CEDAR RAPIDS — Three people have been charged with allegedly altering odometer readings on vehicles sold on the internet.
A federal grand jury last week returned a 14-count indictment charging Jerrett John Schreiber of Waverly, David Russell Stangeland of Dike and Dustin “Turtle” Michael Arends of Cedar Falls with conspiracy to commit odometer fraud and odometer tampering.
The three pleaded not guilty during an appearance in U.S. District Court in Cedar Rapids on Friday and remain free pending trial, which has been tentatively set for April.
Court records allege the three bought pickup trucks and rolled back the mileage, usually knocking off 80,000 to 100,000 miles on the vehicles, which allowed the vehicle to command a higher price when resold.
“The actions and misrepresentations of defendants and their co-conspirators resulted in the sale of vehicles with false odometer readings at higher sale prices than buyers would have paid had the true and accurate mileage been disclosed,” the indictment states. “This led to larger profits for defendants and their co-conspirators.”
The indictment lists 14 vehicles — mostly Chevrolet Silverados manufactured in the mid-2000s — that were sold in 2016.
Most of the transactions were carried out on Craigslist, an online classified advertising website.
Investigators with the Iowa Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Investigation started their probe in 2016 after receiving a tip that a truck sold by a dealership later turned up in a Craigslist ad with lower mileage, according to court records. They found other vehicles that had lower miles and higher prices in subsequent sales, records state.