26 May 2011
A white van seller has been prosecuted after being caught 'clocking' the vehicles he was selling.
William Carroll, aged 32, currently residing at Four Acres Caravan Site, Cirencester, Gloucestershire, was taken to court by Caerphilly County Borough Council's Trading Standards team, following a 12-month investigation into Carroll's activities.
Trading Standards discovered that Carroll was purchasing high mileage vehicles, turning the milometer back, and then selling them onto unsuspecting purchasers at a substantial profit.
In total, the reduction in miles as a consequence of Carroll 'clocking' the vehicles was calculated at a staggering 1.6 million miles.
Carroll appeared at Abergavenny Magistrates Court on Friday 20th May 2012, where he pleaded guilty to six charges out of fifteen of committing Fraud by False Representation (contrary to Sections One and Two of the Fraud Act 2006, in relation to the sale of clocked motor vehicles).
He was sentenced to 216 hours unpaid work, and ordered to pay a total of £12,350 compensation to consumers that had been duped into buying his vehicles.
He was also ordered to pay prosecution costs of £6,000, and one of the vehicles seized by Trading Standards was also forfeited.
Cllr Rob Gough, Cabinet Member for Public Protection said, "These despicable crimes were a deliberate attempt to dupe unsuspecting members of the public, and I am pleased that the court has emphasised the seriousness of the offences in the penalties it has imposed".
He continued, "I want to send out a clear message to those who feel they can act illegally in this manner that our Trading Standards team work tirelessly to help bring offenders of such crimes to justice".
Carroll had been advertising in Auto Trader magazine, and selling the vehicles using false names and addresses throughout South Wales and the South West of England.
His activities came to light when a complaint was received from a consumer who bought a van from Carroll in a layby in Llanbradach. Carroll gave a false name at a genuine address in Quakers Yard, Treharris. Months of investigation traced Carroll selling clocked vans as far afield as Cornwall.
On passing sentence, District Judge Richard Williams stated that Carroll had 'acquired vehicles, reduced the mileages and resold them at a value reflecting the lower mileage' in order to 'hoodwink innocent purchasers'.
He further stated that it was a 'systematic' fraud, designed to 'deliberately and dishonestly affect members of the public'.
Caerphilly County Borough Council's Trading Standards team can be contacted on 01495 235 291.
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