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Used car dealer avoids jail after fraud funded gambling debt

Dealer Steven Armstrong avoided jail over fraud charge

A used car dealer who sold his employer’s stock to fund a gambling addiction has been handed an eight month suspended jail sentence and 180 hours of unpaid work.

Steven Armstrong, of Butterley Hill, Ripley admitted selling vehicles owned by Vertu Volkswagen West Bridgford, Nottingham, and kept the value of the sales between October 15, 2014, and January 16, 2015.

He appeared at Nottingham Crown Court after pleading guilty to a charge of fraud by abusing his position after admitting that he pocketed £8,000 from the business in an effort to cover a £30,000 debt run up with loan sharks.

Used car sales manager Armstrong also broke the law when he authorised the provision of credit services on some accounts at the Loughborough Road dealership, the Derby Telegraph reported.

Jasmine Kumar, prosecuting, said that the defendant had worked at Vert Volkswagen for four years.

The offences came to light when a manager queried a £1,250 invoice for the sale of a Ford C-Max which the staff member connected to the sale denied knowledge of.

Armstrong admitted he had made a fraudulent transaction on the car after being questioned by dealership bosses.

In an interview with police Armstrong said that he had personal financial problems due to a gambling addiction and was £30,000 in debt to loan sharks and credit cards, the Telegraph reported.

In mitigation, the court heard he pleaded guilty at the first opportunity and was frank with police and his employers.

Judge Robert Brown sentenced Armstrong, who now works in a molten metal shop, to eight months in jail, suspended for 12 months, and ordered him to complete 180 hours of work in the community.

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