A “meticulous” Trading Standards investigation has led to a 12 month jail sentence for a specialist used Audi TT dealer and a six month sentence for his former mechanic.
Alexander Harvey, of School Lane, Priors Marston, near Southam, was given a custodial sentence alongside mechanic Amit Mistry, of Timken Way, Daventry, after the pair were found to have slashed tens of thousands of miles off various cars and forged MoT certificates to back-up their fraud.
Harvey had pleaded guilty to four charges of fraud, two of making or adapting articles for use in fraud, and two consumer protection offences at Warwick Crown Court.
Mistry admitted two offences of making or adapting articles for use in fraud.
Watkin said that Harvey and Mistry had been involved in fabricating or altering MoT certificates or service records to back up his bogus descriptions of cars.
In October 2012 Harvey sold an Audi TT with 98,000 miles on the clock for £4,430.
The car was exchanged after serious faults became apparent and –following work at Mistry’s garage – later invoices showed it as having covered just 67,323 miles.
In another case, in 2012, a fireman bought an Audi TT, advertised by 28-year-old Harvey as having done 79,000 miles, for £4,200.
The car’s was found to have covered 147,464 miles when its new owner completed documentation for a personalised number plate, the Telegraph reported.
Although Harvey agreed to exchange the car, he knocked £200 off for ‘depreciation’ and kept the personalised number plate which he made a feature of when he advertised it again – with 85,000 miles on the clock – for £4,699.
When Trading Standards began their investigation a test purchase operation saw Harvey sell them a Peugeot which had previously been written off and was found to be unroadworthy.
Matthew Brook, mitigating for Harvey, said that since the matters came to light two years ago, Harvey has continued trading ‘quite lawfully.’
Laura Hobson, mitigating for 38-year-old Mistry, said that her client was now unemployed.