According to CarFax, there are an estimated 100,000 vehicles that have been put back on the road after being severely damaged in Hurricane Sandy, which affected the northeast in 2012. Following Sandy, approximately 250,000 vehicles were submerged in highly corrosive saltwater for days.
A used car dealership in New Jersey that bought eight such vehicles through an auction conducted by an insurance company. One of the vehicles, a 2006 Ford F-350 truck, was sold by the dealership, D&D Auto Sales, to a customer for $19,999. After the vehicle was evaluated by a local mechanic, it was revealed that the car had suffered heavy corrosion damage and the air bags in the vehicle may have deployed without warning.
The auction record, CarFax and VIN number provided indications that the vehicle had been damaged by a flood, but the dealership allegedly said the alerts were simply caused by a glitch when they sold the truck. Seven other vehicles allegedly had fraudulent clear titles when they were sold to unsuspecting consumers.
The 41-year-old operator of the dealership now faces charges of public records tampering, conspiracy to commit computer theft, as well as theft by deception, and one technician with the NJ Motor Vehicle Commission and two D&D employees have been accused of perpetrating a fraudulent scheme. In order to dispute the allegations against them, the individuals facing charges in this case may work with a criminal defense attorney. That attorney may be able to dispute the evidence if proper protocol was not followed while it was gathered during the investigation, which may result in dropped charges or a mitigated sentencing.