TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Office of Statewide Prosecution announced the arrests of three individuals allegedly using Craigslist to defraud customers buying used cars Wednesday.
According to the investigation, Denis Kutsayev and Tamara Kutsayeva, with the help of Renat Kutsayev, advertised used cars on Craigslist and manipulated vehicles’ odometers and other features to make the vehicles appear more valuable, before selling them to unsuspecting consumers.
The investigation by the Florida Highway Patrol’s Bureau of Criminal Investigations and Intelligence revealed the defendants defrauded customers by removing the word ‘rebuilt’ from the title of salvaged vehicles, altering the mileage on the title or rolling back the odometer.
On one occasion, one of the defendants allegedly changed the odometer mileage of a vehicle from 117,000 miles to 46,335 miles before selling it on Craigslist.
Each defendant faces charges of title fraud and odometer fraud. Denis Kutsayev and Tamara Kutsayeva also face charges for engaging in a scheme to defraud with a monetary loss of more than $50,000.
If convicted, Denis Kutsayev faces up to 85 years in prison, Tamara Kutsayeva faces up to 55 years in prison and Renat Kutsayev faces up 10 years in prison.
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles encourages consumer awareness when purchasing a motor vehicle. To protect yourself on issues related to fraud, unfair practices and motor vehicle recalls, visit FLHSMV.gov.