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OGDENITE GUILTY OF ODOMETER FRAUD
DEALER PURCHASED CARS AND ROLLED BACK INDICATORS, JUDGE RULES

SHARE OGDENITE GUILTY OF ODOMETER FRAUD
DEALER PURCHASED CARS AND ROLLED BACK INDICATORS, JUDGE RULES

Scott Barker, an Ogden man who owned Friendly Auto Sales, has been convicted of odometer fraud in a non-jury trial before U.S. District Judge David K. Winder.

Last December, the federal grand jury indicted Barker on nine counts of odometer fraud and forgery, saying he rolled cars' odometers back and then resold them. He was charged with buying cars at Los Angeles-area auto auctions and reselling them in Utah with their odometers showing 30,000 to 59,000 miles less than they should.Both sides agreed that a decision in the trial could be made without Barker's presence. So Winder delivered his ruling in the form of a written order.

He noted that Barker was charged with five counts of odometer fraud involving different vehicles and different dates, plus four counts of altering California auto titles to make the documents correspond with the phony mileages. A short time after the purchases, the vehicles were resold to Ray Citte Inc., Ogden, the judge wrote.

After the resale, the title would be replaced by a Utah motor vehicle title, issued to the ultimate purchaser, Winder wrote.

California titles have mileage indications, he wrote, but "it is apparently not the practice of the Utah Motor Vehicle Department to place any mileage upon the vehicle title."

Winder wrote that the microfilms provided of the allegedly altered documents were of poor quality. He found that the government failed to prove that Barker had acted with criminal intent as far as these documents were concerned.

However, concerning the first five counts of odometer fraud, Winder added, "the court is firmly of the opinion that the government has proved beyond a reasonable doubt each and all of the material elements contained in those charges."

He set sentencing for 8 a.m. Nov. 30 and asked federal probation officers to prepare a presentence report.