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Car dealer director accused of selling a car he didn't own and spending the money

A car dealership director has been accused of committing a "fiddle" after allegedly selling a car which did not belong to him for £30,000 and spending the money, Cardiff Crown Court has heard.

James Rodriguez-Lay is accused of committing fraud while serving as the director of Redline Vehicle Solutions Ltd in Barry.

It was claimed the 38-year-old received £30,700 from a car dealer in Essex, which he put in his personal bank account, without sending the firm a car which a couple from Cardiff were still in possession of.

A trial, which opened at Cardiff Crown Court on Tuesday, heard how Rodriguez-Lay ran Redline Vehicle Solutions Ltd for owner Derek Knox, who spent a lot of time out of the country on business, reports Wales Online.

Jurors were told in February 2014 Rodriguez-Lay placed an advert on autotrade-mail.com for a black Ford Focus RS500 owned by Karen Hamilton and her partner Paul James, from Cardiff.

The couple had asked Rodriguez-Lay to sell the car for them with £35,000 as a minimum price but they kept possession of the vehicle.

After placing the advert Barry Ives, managing director of Toomey Motors in Basildon, Essex, expressed interest in buying the car to Rodriguez-Lay who accepted a price of £30,700, including delivery.

When it came to payment it is claimed Rodriguez-Lay asked Ives to pay the money into his personal bank account instead of the company’s account.

Ieuan Morris, prosecuting, told the six men and six women of the jury: “When we look at the defendant’s account it was overdrawn by £3,000 and there was an injection of cash but then it was overdrawn again.

“This was a person without means – he was financially unstable and therefore was looking to make some money but he did so dishonestly.

“This defendant decided to commit a fiddle.

“The prosecution say he was blatantly dishonest and this was a means of getting himself out of financial difficulty.”

Police contacted Rodriguez-Lay on March 11 last year after complaints were made by Mr Ives and Miss Hamilton and he was arrested on March 28 after failing to return the money.

Rodriguez-Lay, of Cog Road, Sully, Vale of Glamorgan, denies the offence.

The trial continues.

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