So here is the skinny.
I was the first in line at the office, which was nice. The guy I worked with was really nice. He confiscated the VIN plate, since it didn't match the vehicle. Said that was illegal to own a vehicle with a wrong VIN on it, but he wouldn't arrest me. I said thanks
Anyways, long story short, the correct serial number is in the RR tire well. It does NOT match the VIN tag that was on it. The jeep is a 1976 (77) CJ5 (that also explains a lot). I can't even get a new VIN for it, simply because there are no records of the old AMC's, so Kansas won't issue a new VIN, unless I go through the courts and get a quiet title.
I was bummed, but I still think I can get my money back.
I don't know if you all believe in miracles, but I dare you to tell me that this is anything short of one. This is way to crazy to make up.
As I was standing there talking to the trooper, another guy was standing there looking at the jeep. He asked a few random questions about the jeep, what the old color was, etc. Turns out, he is really confident he bought that jeep back in 87, and brought it out here from Colorado. He sold it to someone in my town in 03-04. He even said that his son put the skull and flame stickers on the side. I couldn't believe it. We might actually be able to find the original VIN from him, now. The trooper said he thought that would work out just fine.
Oh yes, I also called the PO, and he is easy to work with. He said he had no idea (and I believe him), so we will see what happens.
Thanks for all the help and advice, folks. I really appreciate it!