THE MANAGER of a Leamington Vauxhall dealership wrote off traded-in cars as scrap – then sold them himself for a profit through the Autotrader website.
A Judge at Warwick Crown Court heard that Richard Davison has thrown away a 25-year career in the motor trade because of the scam which made him only about £5,000 profit.
The 47 year-old of Lapwing Drive, Hampton-in-Arden, had pleaded guilty to defrauding Drive Vauxhull by false representation.
He was sentenced to ten months in prison suspended for two years and ordered to do 200 hours of unpaid work and to pay £7,354 compensation to Drive Vauxhall and £425 costs.
Prosecutor Justin Jarmola said Davison had been the general manager at the Drive Vauxhall showroom in Rugby Road, where he had access to the computer system.
Older cars that had been taken in part-exchange were either traded on or sold to a firm called Rewarding Recycling for a nominal fee.
But Davison knew a way to circumvent the system, and began entering vehicles as having gone for scrap when they were actually in a saleable condition.
He would then pay the scrap figure into Drive Vauxhall’s account, supposedly from Rewarding Recycling, and sell the car himself through the Autotrader website.
Davison, who was of previous good character, was suspended and then dismissed after his bosses discovered what he had been up to, and when he was arrested he made admissions.
The value of the cars taken was around £12,000 and, Kate Hatton, defending, said, taking into account the scrap value Davison had paid in, his scam made him around £5,500.
She added: “He is extremely remorseful for what happened, and is ashamed of himself. The impact on him has been profound.”
Sentencing Davison, Judge Andrew Lockhart QC told him: “It is a very sad day to see a man of 47 years of age, with a glowing career in the motor industry, before this court for offences of this gravity.
“You got into financial difficulties, and rather than seeking help, you took advantage of the position of trust you were in.