A CAR dealer and a mechanic he used have both pleaded guilty to fraud after an investigation by Warwickshire Trading Standards Service.
Used car dealer Connan Alexander Harvey, formerly trading as Alex Harvey Specialist Cars, Priors Marsden, admitted to clocking and misdescribing cars and forging documents in order to conceal the crime.
The 28 year-old also pleaded guilty to failing to act with professional diligence, as he failed to provide vehicles that were roadworthy, failed to respond promptly to complaints by unsatisfied customers and failed to carry out proper checks on the history of the vehicles being offered for sale – including whether they were insurance write-offs or subject to existing finance agreements).
A mechanic he used, 38 year-old Amit Mistry of Timkin Way, Daventry, also admitted to fabricating or altering vehicle documents.
Harvey sold used Audi cars from a private address. He advertised on popular used car and auction websites.
Numerous complaints from buyers, between November 2012 and February 2014, led trading standards to look in to Harvey’s business.
Harvey admitted to arranging for the mileage reading to be wound back on an Audi TT from 101,369 to 72,299 before it was sold. He also admitted selling another Audi TT, knowing that the mileage was wrong. The mileage was advertised as 79,000 but in reality was 147,464.
He described another vehicle he sold as having good tyres, a new cam belt and a 12 month MOT. The buyer later found none of these statements were true. The cam belt had not been recently changed, the MOT had only two months to run and the tyres were close to their legal limit.
Warwickshire County Council community safety spokesman Coun John Horner said trading standards received more complaints about used cars than anything else.
He added: “This was a very serious case whereby consumers, some of whom had saved long and hard to afford a car, were defrauded out of many thousands of pounds.
Judge Alan Parker adjourned sentencing until March 2 at Warwick Crown Court.