Two Salt Lake County auto dealers were charged Friday with falsifying odometer readings on cars purchased in California and sold to dealerships in Utah.

John P. Thomas, 53, and Vaughn D. Humphrey, 53, are accused in separate 3rd Circuit criminal complaints of buying vehicles and rolling back or disconnecting mileage meters.Utah Motor Vehicle Division investigators worked with California authorities to track down 32 separate incidents between August and October 1988.

Court documents say 16 vehicles purchased by Thomas Auto, 3345 S. State, during that time had odometers rolled back as much as 30,000 miles before being sold to a Utah dealership and a local firm.

Humphrey, of Von's Auto at 4250 S. State, is accused of buying the vehicles, changing odometer readings and selling the cars with the lower mileage readings to four area dealerships.

Both men are accused of theft by deception, selling vehicles with altered odometers, making false odometer statements and a pattern of unlawful activity for allegedly orchestrating the scam, court documents say.

Warrants have been issued for Thomas and Humphrey, and Utah prosecutors are seeking proceeds from the sales.