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SIOUX CITY -- A Sioux City auto dealer has pleaded guilty to tampering with odometers of vehicles for sale at his business.

Francisco Hurtado, 38, of South Sioux City, entered his plea Tuesday in Woodbury County District Court to two counts of second-degree fraudulent practice. Sentencing was scheduled for April 10.

A plea agreement leaves the final sentencing decision up to the judge. Hurtado faces a potential prison sentence of up to 10 years. According to terms of the plea agreement, Hurtado will be required to pay a total of $19,170 in restitution to seven victims.

Four counts of second-degree fraudulent practice will be dismissed, and the state agreed not to file five additional counts, according to the plea agreement.

The owner of Siouxland Auto Sales, 500 S. Lewis Blvd., Hurtado was arrested in April after an undercover investigation by the Iowa Department of Transportation's Bureau of Investigation and Identity Protection found that odometers in high-mileage vehicles had been rolled back to lesser mileages to increase the vehicles' value.

Authorities seized 14 vehicles with odometers that had been tampered with, according to the IDOT.

Hurtado admitted in court that he replaced odometers on a 2005 Chevrolet Silverado and a 2004 Honda Civic with odometers that had lower mileage readings. He also did not reset the replaced odometers to zero or to the original mileage and did not place a label or sticker on the dashboards noting that the odometer clusters had been replaced, as required by law.

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