Sep 23, 2015 9:08 PM by News Staff
A Chico businessman whose practices generated hundreds of complaints from people around the country pleaded guilty to federal mail fraud charges Wednesday.
Prosecutors say John Steven Keplinger, 56, of Stockton, used his Chico based company Rising Sun Engines Inc. to carry out a nationwide fraud scheme.
According to court documents, from 2010 to 2014, Keplinger would sell used auto engines from Japan, to customers across the country, but more times than not failed to deliver the engine after money exchanged hands.
In 2010 Action News Now investigated Keplinger and found complaints about Rising Sun Engines from people in Oregon, Florida, and North Carolina. By the time he was charged, hundreds of complaints about Rising Sun Engines could be found online.
Court documents show that Keplinger operated a similar scheme with two other business, Shop 4 Engines LP, and Your Parts Manager, both operated out of Stockton.
Keplinger is in custody and will be sentenced on December 16. He faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.