JANESVILLE — A Janesville body shop owner faces charges for tampering with used car odometers and selling a vehicle bearing a false mileage reading.
Jeffrey Hagen, 60, faces a felony theft charge and three gross misdemeanor charges for rolling back odometers on four vehicles, which increased their values.
According to the Waseca County District Court complaint:
Authorities in April seized the business’ vehicle files following a complaint by a private citizen.
That month the owner of a 1999 Pontiac Grand Am notified authorities, saying she had received two phone messages from Hagen, who said he wanted to tell her the truth about the car and offered to buy it back.
Police ran a check on the Grand Am. Its previous owner said the car, which had been in a crash, had more than 200,000 miles on it when it was sold to Hagen.
When Hagen re-sold it to a female Waseca resident the odometer had a reading of 96,000 miles.
According to an industry-standard vehicle pricing report, that vehicle with 96,000 miles on it would have a retail value of $4,075. That same vehicle with 200,000 miles would have a value of $1,325.
Hagen priced the car for purchase at $3,637. The woman who bought it paid $2,637, minus a $1,000 trade-in for her previous vehicle.
Hagen’s first court appearance is scheduled for Nov. 27.