A classic car collector has started High Court proceedings against JD Classics after alleging that the trader invented fictitious buyers and sellers to boost its sales profits.
Tycoon Mike Tuke will attempt to sue the Essex-based classic car dealer for around £9 million after claiming that he was a victim of fraud during dealings which saw him purchase vehicles worth £40 million from the business, The Telegraph newspaper reported.
The Telegraph said that Tuke, an engineer from Guildford who sold his Finsbury Orthopaedics business for over £60 million in 2009, bought 40 vehicles from JD Classics between December 2009 and March 2013 as an investment.
Sean Brannigan QC, representing Tuke, said the businessman was now determined to prove that JD Classics founder and owner, Derek Hood, was guilty of fraud, however.
Mr Brannigan said Tuke claimed that Hood had agreed to “source” cars for him for a 10% commission on profits during a meeting in December 2009 but later invented fictitious buyers and sellers for financial gain.
The Telegraph reported that Mr Brannigan had told the court hearing that said Tuke had paid £254,000 for a rare AC Aceca Bristol Competition car in the belief that he was dealing with a third-party seller through JD Classics, in one instance, but alleged that JD Classics had, in fact, “owned the car itself”, having paid £84,000 for it three weeks earlier.
Hood and JD Classics deny any wrongdoing or ever agreeing to act as Mr Tuke’s “sales agent”.
A High Court trial is scheduled to take place later this month.