A Stockton, Calif., man is charged with five counts of mail fraud in connection with an auto parts scam, according to U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner, reports The Record Newspaper. Authorities identify the man as John Steven Keplinger, 56.
A press release from the FBI’s Sacramento office states:
“According to court documents, from 2010 to 2014, Keplinger carried out a fraud scheme by purporting to sell used auto engines from Japan, but failing to provide customers what he promised. Over 300 paying customers across 44 states and the District of Columbia were defrauded. Keplinger used three companies and websites to carry out the fraud scheme: Rising Sun Engines Inc. (www.risingsunengines.com), Shop 4 Engines LP (shop‑4‑engines.com), and Your Parts Manager (yourpartsmanager.com). Most of the time, Keplinger’s customers paid by check sent via UPS. After Keplinger accepted payment, he either sent no engine at all or sent the customer a defective engine obtained in the United States, often from a junkyard. United States Customs and Border Protection records indicate that Keplinger had stopped importing engines in 2007. The total estimated loss from Keplinger’s fraud is approximately $470,000.”