Detroit Men Busted For Plot To Sell Stolen VW Dieselgate Cars

Two Detroit men have been busted for a plot to sell Volkswagen cars that were returned in the wake of the automaker’s so-called ‘Dieselgate’ scandal.

According to Automotive News, the men would instruct others to steal vehicles from a storage lot near the now-abandoned Pontiac Silverdome before attempting to sell them. It wasn’t clear how much the vehicles were sold for or who or where the buyers were, although AN‘s report indicates that very few of the vehicles remained in-state.

Schemes like this often entail selling the vehicles to overseas buyers, where the vehicle’s origins are harder to trace.

Romane Porter, 42, of Farmington Hills, Mich., and Daniel Onorati, 41, of Eastpointe, Mich., were each charged with the sale or possession of stolen motor vehicles and conspiracy. Onorati was arraigned in Detroit’s U.S. District Court last week, while Porter is scheduled to be arraigned April 12.

A large variety of vehicles with VW’s TDI engines are currently being stored at the lot in Pontiac, just as they are at many other similar regional sites all over America. VW purchased the vehicles back from owners in the wake of the Dieselgate scandal and was then forced to find a place for the vehicles until it can figure out what to do with them.

The former owner of the Silverdome previously faced a lawsuit from the city of Pontiac over the storage of the cars, which claimed they were parked with improper permits.

Around 300,000 diesel VWs are believed to be languishing on lots in the United States as of this writing.