An Independent premium car dealer who took cash and part-exchange vehicles from customers before failing to deliver on deals has been jailed for seven years.
North Wales car dealer Gwyn Meirion Roberts, who ran Menai Vehicle Solutions in Bangor, was sentenced at Caernarfon Crown Court last week, following a three-week trial.
Judge Huw Rees said Roberts’ offending amounted to an abuse of “power, trust and responsibility”.
Roberts, aged 50 and of Llandudno Junction, was convicted of 22 counts of fraud, worth £722,000, and one count of fraudulent dealing.
Prosecuting barrister Matthew Corbett-Jones had told the court in an earlier hearing that 50-year-old Roberts – who maintains that it was not his intention to defraud his customers – had taken customers’ cash and part-exchange vehicles in a bid to prop up his ailing business.
Corbett-Jones said that customers had expected to receive new vehicles but the deals they were offered by Roberts had been “too good to be true”, adding that "he himself stood to lose substantial amounts of cash on these deals”.
Jones said that the defendant had manufactured “absurd deals he could not honour”.
Menai Vehicle Solutions entered voluntary liquidation on October 2, 2015.
At the time of the collapse, creditors were owed £1.3m and 50 customers were awaiting delivery of vehicles, the North Wales Daily Post reported.
Commenting on the case after Roberts’ sentencing last week, Det Sgt Christopher Hargrave of North Wales Police said: "Over 50 members of the public lost large amounts of money when they placed their trust in Gwyn Roberts to deliver the deals he promised them.
"He knew at the time of making those promises that there was a significant risk to the victims' money.
"His continued trading, even though the business had failed, was only an attempt to maintain his pride and his lifestyle."