A former motor dealer has been jailed for 18 months after he and three brothers admitted a “car clocking” scam in which vehicles were sold with vastly reduced mileage readings.
The activities of Paul Price and his brothers Gary, Ian and Melvyn, came to light after concerns were reported to North Yorkshire Trading trading standards officers.
Investigation revealed the quartet, who bought vehicles from local car auctions, had subsequently sold nearly 50 on between them after the reading was turned back.
Deborah Sherwin, prosecuting, told Leeds Crown Court yesterday the average reduction was about 100,000 miles although one car had its mileage reduced by 203,000 miles.
Some were also provided with bogus documents to give plausible histories to the vehicles which were advertised on the Autotrader website.
The brothers used multiple trading names, supplying the cars from their home address in North and West Yorkshire. The vehicles involved sold for over £100,000 with a profit for the brothers of £53,000 as purchasers were persuaded to pay more than they otherwise would have done.
Sentencing them Judge Kerry Macgill said people who had saved up their “hard earned cash” to buy cars were entitled to believe the readings were honest.
Graham Parkin for Paul Price said he had traded honestly for many years but after he had health problems and was in reduced financial circumstances he began negotiating sales for himself and his brothers, two of whom ran landscaping businesses and were also augmenting their incomes. He foolishly then continued when he realised some had been “clocked”.
One couple who bought a car from the gang with 78,000 miles rather than the 140,000 it should have on the clock planned to use it to transport their disabled son but had nothing but problems with it.
Coun Chris Metcalfe, of North Yorkshire trading standards and planning services, said it had been a serious and deliberate fraud.