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Car Dealer Pleads Guilty To Selling Sandy-Damaged Cars

A New Jersey used car dealer pleaded guilty to selling cars damaged by Superstorm Sandy without telling the customers about their history.
Posted at 8:44 PM, Aug 27, 2014

A New Jersey used car dealer pleaded guilty to selling cars and trucks once flooded by Hurricane Sandy. 

Forty-two-year-old Jonathan Olin, the owner of D&D Auto Sales, admitted to selling seven flood-damaged vehicles without telling his customers. He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit theft by deception. 

News 12 New Jersey: "Jessie Dinome was also charged. She was employed by the motor vehicle commission and used her position there to help Olin get those fraudulent titles."

New Jersey Attorney General John Jay Hoffman said in a press release, “By ruthlessly cashing in on Superstorm Sandy, Olin not only cheated customers of his car dealership, he put those customers and other motorists at risk, because these flood-damaged vehicles had the potential to fail and even catch fire on the highway.”

Charges against Olin and Dinome come after an extensive ABC probe of vehicles damaged in Sandy. 

ABC: "That's definitely water driven, there's no doubt about that. That's like fine silk. This thing might catch fire. ... I wouldn't even drive this truck out of here."  

That probe prompted New Jersey officials to conduct their own investigation. 

The Asbury Park Pressreports Olin is facing three years in prison, Dinome could get one year in jail and there are currently charges pending against a former D&D salesman. 

Last year Carfax estimated more than 200,000 swamped cars were back on the roads in ten states around the U.S. According to the vehicle history site, "Flood cars are a volatile mixture of water, metal and electricity. ... Once a car is ravaged by water, the mechanical, electrical or safety systems can fail at any time. There's also the health risk, as mold and bacteria permeate the vents." 

In an attempt to prevent the sale of flood-damaged — Carfax set up this free Hurricane Sandy flood damage check where you can search for a car's history using its VIN number. 

Olin has also agreed to pay back the money he made by selling the cars.