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Car salesman faces jail after selling employer's stock to fund gambling addiction

Dealer destined for Crown Court

A used car dealer who sold vehicles to fund his gambling addiction faces jail after his case was referred to the Crown Court.

Steven Armstrong sold three cars which belonged to his employers at West Bridgford’s branch of Vertu Volkswagen – "falsifying paperwork to cover his tracks" – before he admitted his crimes after a colleague questioned a suspect invoice.

Prosecutor Lee Shepherd told Nottingham Magistrates Court said that the 37-year-old, of Butterley Hill, Ripley, also set up unauthorised credit to help the fraud to meet the demands of loans sharks.

The Nottingham Post reported that, of six cars were involved in Armstrong’s illegal deals, two were still on the firm's forecourt and another was traced by police.

The total value of the vehicles was estimated at £9,450 with another £5,000 relating to the unauthorised credit, the court heard.

Alex Chapman, mitigating, said that Armstrong had developed a gambling addiction following his mother's death and increased pressure of work, paying regular visits to the roulette machines at a betting office.

Things “spiralled out of control” after he struck up a relationship with a loan shark who allegedly made threats against the car salesman’s family.

Armstrong, who has since received help from Gamblers' Anonymous and has now found new employment in a factory was granted him unconditional bail to appear at Nottingham Crown Court on March 15.

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