Robert ‘Bud’ Root (71), a former Ferrari salesman, alleges he was fired after he blew the whistle on his former employer’s use of a device that illegally rolled back odometer miles. Following his dismissal, Root sued the Ferrari dealership in Palm Beach.
Here is what we know about Root’s allegations:
- Root discovered a device that rolls back the digital odometers on Ferraris. This practice allowed wealthy owners to resell their cars for more money.
- The device (called the Deis Tester) can only be used if the headquarters approves. Root alleges that employees of the company are trained on how to use the device.
- Root named Ferrari corporate in the suit because the device cannot function without first being sanctioned by them.
- Retired CEO of Sara Lee Foods, apparently paid to have the procedure done. After his odometer was rolled back to zero, the value of his $3 mil sport’s car increased by $1 mil.
- If Root’s allegations can be proven, felony charges in Florida and other states might follow.
- Root was fired in January 2016, even though he had just sold a car for $1.4 mil and had earned over $200,000 in commissions in 2015. The reason they gave him was his “egregious violation of business ethics”. Instead, Root claims that he was singled out when he objected to the use of the Deis Tester because of the potential criminal charges that may result.
- Root was replaced by a 32-year-old woman with no car sales experience (who was then the GM’s mistress and now his wife). She was given Root’s client list.
- Root also claims that all the managers of the dealerships in Palm Beach were conspiring with local buyers so that they could avoid paying sales tax.
The attorney for Ferrari claims that there is no merit to the claims that Root is alleging.
What do you think of these claims?
*image by Paul Cisneros
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