MIAMI COUNTY — The salesman for the Mills Auto Sales, Christopher Mills, 27, of Piqua, was sentenced Monday to serve 56 months in prison for engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, conspiracy, tampering with records and odometers in Miami County Common Pleas Court.
Judge Christopher Gee sentenced Mills to serve four years in prison for first degree felony engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity and four years in prison on one count of second degree felony conspiracy. He will serve those terms concurrently. Mills was then sentenced to serve 30 months for third degree tampering with records, 11 months for tampering with odometers, both of which will run concurrent with the four year prison sentence.
In a separate case, Mills was sentenced to serve eight months for tampering with records and theft, both fifth degree felonies. He will serve that sentence consecutive following his four year prison term.
Assistant prosecutor Paul Watkins called Mills the “ring leader” who taught the three other defendants how to manipulate the odometers.
Mills said he was willing to make things right with the victims and apologized to the court for his “stupid, irresponsible choices.”
An indictment cited approximately 20 vehicles for which the titles were transferred to customers with falsified odometer readings, beginning in May 2011 and ending in November 2013. Overall, the indictment mentions approximately 60 overt acts. Mills operated Mills Auto Sales, located at 417 South Street in Piqua. Mills was connected to at least 10 vehicles that were tampered with at the Piqua car lot.
Examples of vehicles that the county cited as illegally altered by the defendants included a 2000 GMC with an odometer reading of 186,000 miles and an actual mileage of 283,168 miles, and a 2001 Chevrolet Suburban with an odometer reading of 99,000 miles and an actual mileage of 285,820 miles.
The corrupt activity was uncovered when a recipient of one of the vehicles brought the car to a repair shop and the mechanic told the owner that the odometer had been tampered with and was not displaying the correct mileage.
Scott J. Carnes, Jr., 32; Joshua E. Finley, 28; and Rodney Jenkins, 48, have already been sentenced for their roles in the same indictment.
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