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May 10, 2011

LITTLE ROCK - Attorney General Dustin McDaniel announced today that 29 Arkansas consumers have received a total of $34,000 in restitution as a result of a Pulaski County Circuit Court judgment resolving a lawsuit brought by McDaniel against individuals and car dealers accused of odometer fraud. The suit was a result of a joint investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Arkansas State Police and the Attorney General.

McDaniel sued defendants John Thomas Lindsay, Alan Owens and Brad Allan Tyl, doing business as JTL Motors and Elite Motors, claiming that the defendants engaged in a practice of rolling back odometers on used cars.

The suit said consumers paid more for the vehicles than the vehicles were actually worth as a result of the fraud. In addition, consumers incurred unexpected repair costs because of the true mileage of the vehicles greatly exceeding that which was disclosed to the buyers.

"Consumers should have the confidence that they're getting what they pay for, especially when it comes to a purchase as significant as a vehicle," McDaniel said. "I'm pleased with the court's ruling in this matter and for the positive outcome from our office's enforcement of our state's consumer protection laws."

The court ordered the defendants to pay $132,604.53 in restitution, penalties and costs.

Affected consumers who filed claims with the Attorney General's Office received restitution checks this week.

According to the NHTSA, odometer tampering continues to be a serious crime and consumer fraud issue. In 2002, the NHTSA determined this crime allows more than 450,000 vehicles to be sold each year with false odometer readings, costing American car buyers more than $1 billion annually.