Chop Shop Bust Uncovers Title Fraud Scheme

Estimated read time 2 min read

After police found and shut down a chop shop in the Miami area, evidence from that crime scene has led investigators to others involved in a multi million dollar title fraud scheme. One of them is a clerk at a car tag agency, who is now facing 36 felony charges.

Apple AirTag leads to another chop shop bust.

To say this is a big deal would be an understatement. While police will bust chop shops fairly often, finding out who’s supplying fake titles for thieves selling stolen cars to unsuspecting buyers has proven a much harder task.

It was back in January that police tracked a stolen car’s functioning GPS system. They were able to find it at an auto body shop in the Miami area. Investigators say that business was operating as a chop shop, says NBC Miami.

After getting a search warrant, police found three high-end stolen cars at that location: a 2021 Mercedes-Benz G550, 2023 Aston Martin DBS Superleggera, and 2022 Lamborghini Urus. Also recovered on the scene were a couple of fraudulent VIN plates.

Also part of this extensive operation was title fraud. It doesn’t take a genius to put the fake VIN tags and fraudulent title papers together. They did what’s called “vehicle rebirthing” where they used the VINs from totaled cars, putting them on stolen rides so they could be passed off as legitimate.

The latest to be arrested in this unraveling scheme is 27-year-old Katherine M. Vera Moran. She’s facing 18 counts of title fraud and 18 counts of official misconduct, all of them felony charges. They allege she was paid $800 to $1,000 for each fraudulent title transaction, helping to hide stolen cars.

Police say they can confirm at least 18 of these incidents. We question if there aren’t many more. But those cars were all quite expensive, their combined value estimated at $3,385,000.

It’s great to see police cracking down on these crimes. After all, if the people who are paying for stolen cars get busted, there isn’t as much demand in the black market, so theft would likely decrease.

Image via NBC Miami

Follow The Auto Wire on Google News.

Steven Symes

Steven Symes is an accomplished automotive journalist with a passion for all things related to cars. His extensive knowledge and love for the automotive world shine through in his writing, which covers a diverse range of topics.

You May Also Like

More From Author

+ There are no comments

Add yours