HARRISBURG —Attorney General Josh Shapiro today announced criminal charges against 30 individuals and 21 businesses for “title washing” and for re-titling stolen vehicles in Lebanon, Lehigh, and Philadelphia counties. The title washing fraud was designed to bypass rigid requirements for reconstructed titles in states such as New Jersey and New York. The re-titling of these stolen vehicles was intended to make those vehicles look legitimate for resale or export.
The participants in these criminal networks are alleged to have purchased totaled vehicles that they then falsified inspection information for and submitted fraudulent title applications to PennDOT as well as removing and changing the Vehicle Identification Numbers (VINs) attached to each vehicle to bypass police detection of stolen vehicles. These arrests are following sweeping arrests earlier this year as tied to related criminal rings in northeastern Pennsylvania.
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