On August 26, 2019, a Studio City man pleaded guilty to operating a computerized odometer rollback business for vehicles that were leased from dealerships in the San Fernando Valley and Glendale.
Serge Oganesian, 45, pleaded guilty to six felony counts: one count of conspiracy to commit grand theft and five counts of computer access and fraud.
Oganesian had been running his odometer rollback business since April 2015 in North Hollywood, Glendale and Studio City at various times, according to Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Leonard Torrealba of the Consumer Protection Division.
“Consumers and car dealerships rely heavily of a vehicle’s mileage in deciding whether to purchase a vehicle or how to price a vehicle. Mileage is heavily factored into the value of a vehicle,” said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona. “Anyone who suspects an odometer has been tampered with, should notify DMV investigators. They know what they’re looking for and can find the person who is profiting from it.”
Oganesian hacked the computers of 12 vehicles and rolled back the vehicle odometer readings. The altered mileage amounted to $76,394 in false vehicle appreciation.
Sentencing is scheduled for April 21, 2020. Oganesian is expected to receive a 16-month jail sentence and will be ordered to pay a $15,000 fine.
The case was investigated by the California Department of Motor Vehicles, with assistance from the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office’s Bureau of Investigation.