Robert Solberg ordered to pay more restitution for odometer tampering; prison date pushed back

Robert J. Solberg was sentenced to four months in prison back in August
Robert Solberg appears before a federal judge for a plea hearing. Feb. 7, 2020 (WBAY)
Robert Solberg appears before a federal judge for a plea hearing. Feb. 7, 2020 (WBAY)(WBAY)
Published: Oct. 16, 2020 at 3:44 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - A federal judge has ordered Robert Solberg to pay an additional $3,000 in restitution for an odometer tampering scheme.

At a restitution hearing on Friday, the court was told Solberg already paid $10,000 in restitution for the conspiracy to alter odometers on high-mileage vehicles in order to sell them at a higher price.

Solberg was sentenced on Aug. 27 to four months in prison and two years on extended supervision. The judge pushed back Solberg’s date for reporting to prison to February 1.

Solberg was told to pay a minimum of $100 each month towards the restitution.

A co-defendant in the scheme, Joshua Taylor, will not have to pay any restitution. He was sentenced in July to 18 months in federal prison.

According to federal prosecutors, Solberg and Taylor sold about 22 vehicles with altered odometers to buyers “based on false and fraudulent representations and promises regarding the mileage on the vehicles, the vehicles’ history, and the vehicles’ operating conditions.”

In early 2019, victims started filing complaints with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. The DOT reported it to Green Bay Police.

A Brown County man had reported buying a GMC Yukon for $4,100 on Craigslist. He thought “the handwritten mileage on the title appeared forged from 214,450 miles to 114,459 miles.” The odometer read the lower mileage but displayed an error code. He suspected it was tampered with.

Police tracked down the original owner, who informed them that he had sold it days earlier at nearly half the price. He said the vehicle had twice as many miles on it when he sold it.

The victim’s family started searching Craigslist and found more cars from the seller. There were listings around the state.

Green Bay Police executed search warrants at Solberg’s home, Taylor’s home, and a storage facility on Green Bay’s east side.

Warrants reveal that during searches of three properties, police seized six vehicles, phones, keys, titles, more than $4,000 in cash, and an odometer cluster--a tool used to alter mileage on a vehicle.

Officers also found multiple odometers. One was in a cardboard box. It had been shipped to Robert Solberg, warrants show.

Text messages and emails between Solberg and Taylor show discussions about how many miles to roll back the odometer on specific vehicles and what price they should advertise.

After reports aired on Action 2 News, more victims came forward to identify Solberg and Taylor as the culprits.

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