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Clerk at Miami auto tag agency arrested in $3.3 million title fraud scheme – NBC 6 South Florida

A clerk at a Miami auto tag agency was arrested after the bust of a high-end chop shop uncovered a more than $3.3 million title fraud scheme, authorities said.

Katherine M. Vera Moran, 27, was arrested on 18 counts each of title fraud and official misconduct, the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office said Tuesday.

The investigation into Vera Moran dates back to January, when Doral Police officers investigating a stolen car found it pinging inside the bay of a local auto shop.

Miami-Dade Corrections

Katherine M. Vera Moran

Officers executed a search warrant at the shop and discovered three stolen vehicles, including a 2022 Lamborghini Urus, a 2023 Aston Martin DBS Superleggera, and a 2021 Mercedes-Benz G550, officials said. Also found were two fraudulent VIN plates.

The owner of the garage was arrested for operating a chop shop, and after he was questioned, authorities learned of Vera Moran and her role as a clerk at a tag agency in Miami.

Authorities discovered Vera Moran was paid an extra $800-1,000 for each fraudulent title transaction, accepting cash or Cash App payments before forging the titles and tax documents on stolen vehicles.

To pull off the scheme, Vera Moran would manipulate VINs associated with total loss vehicles by transferring them to the stolen vehicles, officials said.

A total of 18 vehicles were recovered and/or positively identified with altered VINs, 12 of which were confirmed to be stolen, authorities said.

“A car could’ve been stolen in Broward County, brought to the chop shop in Doral, these individuals would re-VIN the vehicle, create fictitious paperwork, present it to Ms. Moran at the title agency in the city of Miami, Moran would issue them false paperwork, register the vehicles for use in the Florida databases, collect $800 to $1,000 per vehicle that was presented to her, cash app, Zelle, or other means, and that’s how this thing kept happening, over and over, it happened 18 times,” Doral Police Chief Edwin Lopez said.

The approximate total value of stolen vehicles recovered and identified was $3,385,000, all of which were processed by Vera Moran, prosecutors said.

“Fraudulent title transfers not only deceive the system but inflict profound harm on victims who suffer the loss of property and insurance companies who are forced to cover theft claims,” Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said in a statement. “Such crimes can have a lasting and detrimental impact on our community, costing the hardworking citizens of Miami-Dade County by driving up car insurance premiums.”

Records showed Vera Moran was booked into jail on Monday. She appeared in court Tuesday where a Miami-Dade judge set her bond at $50,000.

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