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Orange County Digest

Santa Ana : Car Dealer Going to Jail for Illegal Operations

March 03, 1987|Lauren Blau \f7

A Mission Viejo man has been sentenced to 45 days in jail for operating a used car dealership in Santa Ana with an expired license and for rolling back odometers, authorities said Monday.

Jerome Arthur Biddle, 58, who pleaded no contest to six counts of unlicensed dealer activities, was also ordered to pay $15,000 in restitution and serve three years of informal probation, Rande King, senior special investigator for the Department of Motor Vehicles, said.

Biddle, who had been scheduled to stand trial this week, reached a settlement with the district attorney's office last Thursday and was sentenced in Orange County Municipal Court the same day, King said.

Biddle, who was arrested March 27, 1985, and Donald Richard Perkins, 31, were accused of operating Perkins Specialty Auto in Santa Ana without a valid dealer's license. They were also accused of selling to unsuspecting buyers used cars on which they had rolled back the mileage on odometers thousands of miles, in some cases in excess of 30,000 miles.

For the Record
Los Angeles Times Friday March 13, 1987 Orange County Edition Metro Part 2 Page 2 Column 5 Metro Desk 2 inches; 43 words Type of Material: Correction
Details of the charges against a Mission Viejo man in a used car case were reported incorrectly in the March 3 edition. An official of the Department of Motor Vehicles said Jerome Arthur Biddle was sentenced for selling used cars without a license. Counts involving the rolling back of odometers were dismissed.

Perkins is currently a fugitive, and a bench warrant has been issued for his arrest, King said.

The DMV launched its investigation of the dealership in December, 1984, after a used car buyer filed a consumer complaint with the DMV, King said. The DMV has since positively identified 20 out of 48 cars purchased by the company in 1984 as having their odometers rolled back.

The $15,000 will be divided among known purchasers of the cars, King said.

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