by Valerie Verkamp
Landmark assistant editor
A 32-year-old man has been charged in Platte County after he allegedly rolled back a vehicle odometer 95,918 miles and sold it on Craigslist for a net gain of $10,000.
Jesus Mondragon, of Kansas City, Kan. has been charged with a class D felony of odometer fraud in the second degree.
A complaint filed against Mondragon alleges he advertised the sale of a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu with only 40,000 miles on Craigslist.
A purchaser, identified in court documents as Mr. Juhnke, responded to the advertisement and agreed to meet Mondragon at QuikTrip located at 7133 NW Barry Road on Nov. 25, 2013. Juhnke paid Mondragon $10,500 in cash for the vehicle and Mondragon relinquished the Missouri Car Title to the purchaser.
The title to the vehicle showed the name Carla McBane. Mondragon told Juhnke the title was in his wife's name. Days after the transaction, the vehicle broke down. Upon inspection by mechanics at Heartland Chevrolet in Liberty, Juhnke was told the odometer had been tampered with and the actual mileage reflected by the vehicle's black box was 135,918.
After discovering he had been deceived, a complicated process of tracking down Mondragon ensued.
First, Carla McBane was contacted. McBane said she had never met Mondragon and sold her 2009 Chevrolet Malibu to Hoffman's Auto Service in St. Joseph for $1,500 in May of 2013.
Next, Brandon Huffman, the owner of Huffman's Auto Service, was contacted. He provided authorities with a receipt showing he sold the 2009 Chevrolet Malibu to Mondragon for $500 on Nov. 6, 2013. Paperwork also revealed the vehicle's odometer exhibited 134,095 miles.
Authorities caught up with Mondragon in the nick of time. Court documents indicate at the time of his arrest, Mondragon was attempting to sell a 2006 GMC C5500 Dump Truck for $17,300. He claimed the vehicle had only 102,000 miles, but authorities say information obtained from Car Fax shows when the vehicle was last inspected in December of 2010 the 2006 GMC Dump Truck had 195,012 miles.
In conjunction with local law enforcement, Trooper Nate Bradley with the Missouri Highway Patrol is also actively investigating three additional cases of odometer fraud allegedly carried out by Mondragon.
Mondragon denies any wrongdoing. He is scheduled to appear before Platte County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Fincham at 9 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 20. He is being represented in court by attorney Robyn Goodwin of Liberty.