GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - A federal grand jury has indicted two men on charges they tampered with odometers on used vehicles sold them to unsuspecting customers.
Robert Solberg and Joshua Taylor. Photos: Brown County Jail
Robert Solberg, 35, and Joshua A. Taylor, 38, have been indicted on charges of criminal conspiracy and odometer tampering.
In video you'll see only on Action 2 News, our cameras captured U.S. Marshals escorting Robert Solberg and his brother, John, into the federal court building in Green Bay Wednesday morning.
John Solberg was indicted in a separate case for 15 counts of fraud related to his former used car sales businesses. CLICK HERE for details on John Solberg's case.
Robert Solberg was ordered to be held in jail over the holiday weekend.
The indictment states Robert Solberg and Joshua Taylor bought used vehicles and altered or replaced the odometers before selling them to buyers. They allegedly rolled back hundreds of thousands of miles from some of the vehicles before sale.
Action 2 News broke news of the investigation in June. On June 3, 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.
The investigation started in March 2019. An odometer fraud investigator from the Wisconsin Department of Motor Vehicles called Green Bay Police. The DMV needed help "with a report of title fraud and odometer tampering."
A Brown County man had reported buying a GMC Yukon for $4,100 on Craigslist. He said he made the purchase from a man he didn't know. 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 was displaying an error code. He suspected some had "tampered with" it.
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.
Police found another victim from Green Bay. He had purchased a vehicle that showed 114,000 miles on the odometer. However, he learned the vehicle's real mileage was 300,000.
One witness told police "4-5 odometers [were] being shipped to [Solberg's] house each week," according to warrants. The documents state that Joshua Taylor bought the "odometer tool off eBay for $4,000."
Police uncovered a voicemail from an Appleton store that had informed Solberg, "the odometer cluster he ordered was in stock."
If convicted, Solberg and Taylor face up to five years in federal prison for conspiracy and up to three years in federal prison for tampering. Each count comes with a fine up to $250,000.