Car dealer Sahaire Ramzan has narrowly escaped jail after pleading guilty to running a fraudulent business that sold clocked cars.
Ramzan, of Conway Road in Luton, was caught after another trader spotted two cars he'd sold to Ramzan advertised with reduced mileages.
Luton Crown Court was told Ramzan traded from his family home and used a series of false names and addresses and more than 20 mobile numbers.
He advertised online and agreed to meet customers outside several different addresses where he pretended to live.
Victims paid between £5000 and £7000 in cash before leaving with their car. Only later did they discover the car had been clocked, by which time Ramzan had disappeared.
When Trading Standards raided Ramzan’s home they discovered two computers, eight mobile phones, several new unused sim cards and prepaid credit cards, which they believed were ready for use with new false IDs. They also found paperwork including genuine copies of vehicle documents showing the correct mileages, and a stash of cash.
Examination of the evidence revealed that along with clocking the cars, documents such as service histories and HPI checks were faked.
A Trading Standards spokeswoman said: “This car dealer deliberately defrauded his customers by buying high mileage quality cars, clocking them to significantly increase their value and creating false documents to give them legitimacy. We believe vehicles sold by Ramzan may have ‘lost’ a total of nearly 2 million miles.”
Ramzan received a 20 month prison sentence suspended for 2 years, and was ordered to carry out 300 hours of community service.