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Former CT Resident Admits To Vehicle Odometer Roll Back Scheme, Feds Say

U.S. District Court in Hartford.
U.S. District Court in Hartford. Photo Credit: File

A former Connecticut resident has admitted to selling multiple vehicles with altered odometers over the course of more than a year.

Wilfred Albanese, 49, formerly of Waterbury, pleaded guilty this week to fraud and identity theft charges stemming from the sale of numerous used vehicles with altered odometers.

According to federal officials, between approximately August 2014 and October 2015, Albanese, while residing in Missouri, sold approximately 48 vehicles with altered odometers to unsuspecting purchasers. 

As part of the scheme, Albanese purchased high-mileage used vehicles and then used a variety of means to alter or reduce the mileage shown on the vehicles’ odometers officials said.

Albanese also concealed mechanical issues with those vehicles by removing “check engine” lights from the instrument panels, providing buyers with phony maintenance receipts and vehicle history reports, and concealing rust and other damage to the vehicle through paint or other means. 

Officials said the scheme included Albanese obtaining Certificates of Title for the used vehicles he purchased. Under the assumed identities of the persons listed on those Certificates of Title, he advertised and sold the vehicles to customers on Craigslist. 

The majority of the victim purchasers resided in Missouri.

In May last year, Albanese was charged in a 20-count indictment charging he and a co-conspirator with multiple offenses. Albanese was arrested in New London on July 18 last year and has been detained since.

Albanese pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft. If convicted, Albanese faces up to 20 years in prison. He is scheduled to appear back in court on Thursday, Oct. 29. 

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