FBI Breaks Up $25 mill ‘VIN Cloning’ Scam Arrests Ringleaders Same Scam Run in Sarasota PI Bill Warner Wants to Know When Will Used Car Dealers be arrested ?


UPDATED September 15th, 2014 AMW.. Pablo Barrio Report a Tip He Is On The Run (Cuba ?) ….Feds: Nationwide Auto Theft Ring Exposed.  Police say they found more than 100 individuals connected to the group, but ultimately decided only to indict the key players.  TAMPA, Florida (CNN) — There’s probably no way to describe the feeling.  One moment, Guiseppe “Joe” Pirrone was on a long weekend at the beach. The next moment, he found out the pickup that he bought a year ago is stolen, and he is still on the hook for the $27,000 loan.  Stories like Pirrone’s are scattered across the country, and Tuesday the FBI announced that it has broken up one of the largest auto theft cases in the U.S.  Capping “Operation Dual Identity,” arrest warrants for 17 people were executed in Tampa and Miami, Florida; Chicago, Illinois; and in Mexico City and Guadalajara, Mexico. The suspects were accused of “cloning” vehicles, which is making stolen cars look like legal ones. The FBI says that the ring was operating in the U.S. for more than 20 years. More than 1,000 vehicles were stolen in Florida, with more than $25 million in losses to consumers and banks. SEE http://tbo.com/news/-charged-in-tampa-based-car-cloning-theft-ring-105192

Car theft rings clone vehicles by taking license plates, vehicle identification numbers (VIN), and other tags and stickers from a legal car and putting them on a stolen vehicle of similar make and model. Pirrone has hired an attorney, and he is considering filing a lawsuit against the dealership to get the bank’s money back. Pirrone said he was advised by his lawyer not to name the used car lot. Law enforcement hopes that this is the beginning of the end of the “car cloning” scam. The National Motor Vehicle Information system (NMVTIS) database was implemented in January. It allows state DMVs to share title and registration information. Cloned vehicles were moved and sold to buyers in 20 states and several countries, often for less than market value, the FBI said. Many of the vehicles were exchanged for drugs, according to the bureau. The FBI says that people need to be careful when buying a car independently. SEE http://tbo.com/news/-charged-in-tampa-based-car-cloning-theft-ring-105192

“Folks should be educated enough so that they don’t buy a car from a stranger, on the street, or in a back alley somewhere,” said the FBI’s Dave Couvertier. “And if you’re getting it for too good a deal, it should be raising flags.”  Private Investigator Bill Warner has written extensively on the used car scam, stolen cars VIN switched and sold to unsuspecting customers in the USA and abroad.  The VIN switch scam needs a used car dealer to be able to re-register vehicles with false ID and switched VIN’s, the FBI got the street hustlers and the movers and shakers of the operation but did not arrest the real kingpins of the operation, the used car dealers who handle all the paper work.

Friday, December 05, 2008 UPDATED: Arrest Made in Sarasota Fl Car-Title Fraud Sergiy Zheleznyak Owned MS Autos Stolen Cars Shipped to Russia From NYC.  HERALD TRIBUNE- SARASOTA COUNTY — A man has been jailed and accused of filling out false vehicle titles so he could send cars to Russia. The man, Sergiy Zheleznyak, owned a North Port car lot, (MS Autos Inc.), and working for an associate in New York, he filed the fraudulent certificate of origin, paperwork, that acts as documentation for new vehicles. He received titles in the name of his dealership, MS Autos Inc, according to an arrest report, then he was paid by his associate Alexksandr Mikhaylov in New York City $100 (each) for the phony titles which he sent to New York City were his associate Alexksandr Mikhaylov then “Re-VIN’d” stolen cars that matched the description of the phony titles and supposedly shipped the stolen cars overseas (Russia). see http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20081205/article/812050295

Employees at the Sarasota County Tax Collector’s Office identified Sergiy Zheleznyak as the man who filled out 36 fake title applications. Sergiy Zheleznyak, 38, has been charged with 36 counts of title fraud, a felony. Why would you would need “clean titles” to ship the thirty six “2008 and 2009” new cars to Russia, are the vehicles “hot”, are the VIN’s switched which would require a different title with a new matching VIN ? The 36 re-titled cars would have a street value of well over $1 Million, there were 2009 Mercedes Benz’s, BMW’s , Sedans, SUV’s,and 2008 Ford F-150 pick-ups all with odometer readings of 5 to 50 miles, almost all black in color and no lien holders and all of them did not exist, in Sarasota FL ! One example is a 2009 Mercedes Benz SUV, black in color with no lein holders, it’s VIN number was 4JGBB77E89A449443 AND IT HAD 5 MILES LISTED ON THE ODOMETER. Sergiy V. Zheleznyak owned MS Autos in North Port which is also a body shop. It appears that Sergiy Zheleznyak’s wife now runs BEST AUTOS in Sarasota and I still get calls from people who have had problems with this guy till today.

Was the ‘Contact” Person in New York State arrested ? Who are the contact people at the Port in Russia ? Where there any connections to the “Russian Mob” as the illegal shipping of vehicles out of the USA for resale in Russia (and other locale) has been a signature crime of the Russian Mob for years. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers recovered a 2008 Porsche and a 2008 Hummer at the Port of Baltimore on March 31. Both were reported stolen from Illinois and were bound for Russia, CBP said.

Who, What, Where, basic questions the Sarasota Herald newspaper does not appear to ask, this international used car fraud operation originating in Sarasota was not a one man job. Why is the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) handling an auto export case (supposedly shipped out of New York City area docks) as the only investigating agency, so far ? This is a Federal case if the vehicles are shipped out of the USA, the Bureau of Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) would be handling the case. see see http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20081205/article/812050295

VIN Switching: The Ultimate Alias for Auto Theft, a technique used by thieves to disguise the identity of a stolen vehicle. They will replace the VIN on a stolen vehicle with a VIN that is not associated with an active theft record. The vehicle thief will then try to resell the stolen car to an unsuspecting customer, or ship the vehicle out of the country. In addition to manually switching the VIN, some VIN switchers will also develop fraudulent titles and registrations to go along with the vehicle.
It appears that Alexksandr Mikhaylov had a shopping list for stolen cars in New York City that he needed phony titles from Sergiy Zheleznyak in Sarasota in order to ship his cars out of the docks of New York and New Jersey, (past U.S. Customs and Border Protection), to Russia and re-sell his $1 Million inventory.
Bill Warner
Private Investigator
WBI Inc Private Detective Agency
Phone 941-926-1926