Investigations

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Defendant Sentenced for Operating a Chop Shop

Keith Elden Helms, Seattle, WA, owner of Pac Auto Sales, was ordered by a U.S. District Court judge in Seattle to repay $286,372 and serve 9 months in jail for operating a “chop shop,” in which he purchased stolen motor vehicles and parts, switched the vehicles’ identification numbers, and shipped the stolen goods across state lines. Helms is the last of seven defendants charged with criminal violations as a result of a task force established to investigate and prosecute individuals involved in interstate transportation of stolen vehicles and stolen property, mail fraud, and other Federal and state violations. The task force consisted of agents from OIG, FBI, Washington State Patrol, Coast Guard Investigative Service, and INS.