Former car sales executive Daniel Harding ripped off a truck dealer and now faces jail if he doesn't repay £10,000 by January.
Harding, who has a previous conviction from 2006 when he stole £8,000 while working at a Teeside car dealership, bought a Ford and a DAF truck from dealer Centex in Middlesbrough but the cheques, for more than £17,000, subsequently bounced.
However he'd already sold them on, and Teeside Crown Court was told one was recovered from Tilbury Docks, bound for Nigeria, while the other was recovered in Middlesbrough.
Harding admitted two charges of fraud.
Prosecutor Malcolm Styles said Harding, of Sedgefield, refused to say in police interviews who they had been passed on to because he said he feared reprisals.
John Sewell, of Centex, has filed a claim for £10,000 compensation for depreciation and expenses in recovering the vehicles.
In court Harding provided bank papers showing that he had £6,000 and he offered to pay the rest of the £10,000 compensation in the near future.
Judge John Walford deferred sentence until January, telling Harding that if the money was not paid by then he would go to jail. If it was paid then the prison sentence would be suspended.