Auto sale scammer sentenced in Kansas

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OLATHE, Kan. (AP) -- A Colorado man suspected in several states of scamming people selling motor vehicles online has been sentenced in Kansas to five years and three months in prison.

The Kansas City Star reports (http://bit.ly/IMZZDW ) 33-year-old Othello K. Bland, of Aurora, Colo., was sentenced Thursday in Johnson County District Court. Besides the prison time, he was ordered to pay more than $42,000 in restitution.

Bland was convicted earlier this year of 16 counts of theft and identity theft.

Prosecutors said Bland, or someone working with him, contacted people who advertised cars for sale on Craigslist or Autotrader. The victims were paid with counterfeit insurance checks, and the criminals then sold the vehicles online for cash.

Johnson County authorities say Bland is suspected of similar crimes in Colorado, Idaho, Missouri, Nebraska and Oregon.