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Scottish car dealer convicted of laundering money through his dealership

A second hand car dealer from Dumfries has admitted hiding criminal gains of £150,000 through his business.

Glasgow's High Court deferred sentencing Michael Handley until next month after hearing he committed the offence through Lochthorn Car Sales in Locharbriggs between May 2003 and December 2006.

Handley is currently serving a six-year prison sentence for assault to injury and danger of life.

Advocate depute Murdoch McTaggart, prosecuting, said Handley operated his business in three ways.

The first involved legitimate business which was accurately recorded, the second involved falsified records, while the third was cash-only with no records kept.

McTaggart said: "Criminal property was used to purchase cars for cash. The majority - 76 cars - were purchased for cash at Central Car Auctions in Glasgow. A number of other cars were purchased from other sellers for cash."

He said the cars which had been bought with criminal property were mixed with the legitimate stock of used cars at Lochthorn Car Sales. If one of these cars was sold to a cash buyer then no record was made of this sale in the accused's business records.

The court heard that during a lengthy police investigation it was discovered that in some cases a fictitious purchase history was recorded.

McTaggart added: "In some cases the person who had bought the car did not exist or the person knew nothing of the car and had never owned it."

Handley faces a further hearing under the Proceeds of Crime Act in April.

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