PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) ─ Three people are facing several charges after detectives uncovered an odometer rollback scheme involving a Providence business, according to Rhode Island State Police.
Police said the investigation began after the Rhode Island DMV received a complaint about a discrepancy on vehicle registration documents.
After reviewing the documents, detectives realized the odometer reading had been altered on both the paperwork and the actual vehicle.
Police backtracked the vehicle to P.B. Auto Repair and Imports in Providence, which is owned by Pablo Beato.
The investigation revealed Beato, 49, sold the car, “under the guide of being a licensed used car dealer,” even though he nor his business are licensed in Rhode Island to sell vehicles.
Police discovered 50 vehicles that were advertised for sale on Facebook Marketplace by Beato, Bersania Bencosme and Eddy Bencosme Diaz, all of which had rolled back odometers and fraudulent registration paperwork. As a result, investigators seized 17 vehicles from Beato’s home and business.
Beato, Bencosme and Bencosme Diaz were arrested and are facing a series of charges, including tampering with odometers, forgery and counterfeiting, and making a false statement to fraudulently obtain a vehicle registration.
All three suspects were arraigned Friday. Beato was released on $5,000 surety bail, while Bencosme and Bencosme Diaz were both released on $1,000 personal recognizance.
The investigation into the scheme is ongoing, and police are urging anyone who may have purchased a vehicle from one of the suspects to contact R.I. State Police Detective Stephen Brown at (401) 462-5744.