A Phelps County Jury recently found an Illinois Man guilty of the felony of tampering with a motor vehicle. According to a press release issued yesterday, Jan. 29 by Phelps County Prosecutor Brendon Fox, Wayne Whitmore, age 34 of Springfield was charged for an incident that occurred in 2014.

According to the release, Whitmore allegedly traded a Polaris ATV to a Rolla resident, promising he would later deliver the title for the vehicle, which he never did. The release states the owner of the vehicle testified it was missing earlier in 2014. The owner claimed he had never given Whitmore permission to transfer it.

The release said Whitmore’s mother claimed the ATV belonged to her, and reportedly said she had given her son permission to trade it. However, according to the release, a testimony from another witness established that Whitmore claimed ownership of the ATV, and never indicated he was acting on his mother’s behalf at the time of the trade.

The case was tried by Assistant Prosecutor Bill Hudson with Senior Assistant Prosecutor Brad Neckermann.

According to the released, Elected Prosecutor Brendon Fox noted that “one important lesson from this case is to make sure to get the title whenever purchasing a vehicle. There are a lot of scammers looking to take advantage of people.”

Whitmore faces up to seven years in prison, and will be sentenced on March 8.