News item

Two more men jailed for illegal sales at Chequered Flag

David Patrick Kelly (age 28) of 3 Redbrow Hollow, Compstall, Stockport, Cheshire and Paul Clements (age 36) from the Romley area, Greater Manchester, who had been found guilty of fraud and money laundering offences at an earlier trial, were sentenced at Leeds Crown Court14 January.


Clements received a five-month imprisonment for money laundering.

Kelly received 15-months imprisonment for fraud and money laundering.


In December 2012, four other co-defendants, Kirk Michael Claus (age 47), Craig Firth (age 51), Michael Barry Adams (age 41) and Peter Wayne Bray( age 57) were sentenced to a total of eight- years imprisonment for their part in a conspiracy to defraud the customers of Chequered Flag Car Sales, and money laundering arising from the illegal sale of misdescribed second hand cars from a garage based at 541 Halifax Road, Hipperhome, West Yorkshire.  A fifth individual, David Ingham (age 42) received a suspended prison sentence.


In passing sentence, His Honour Judge Kearl said:  "This was deliberate planned and professional offending, preying on the confidence consumers had in what you were telling them.  Some of the vehicles were dangerous and used to carry children and young people."

 

The investigation was carried out by the Yorkshire and the Humber Trading Standards Group Scambuster Team and was supported by officers from West Yorkshire and City of York Council trading standards services, and West Yorkshire Police following complaints received from customers who had purchased cars from Chequered Flag Cars and Bikes between September 2009 to August 2010.  


Examples of the complaints included:

•    Insurance ‘write off’ vehicles being sold as ‘immaculate inside and out’

•    Vehicles being sold with false mileage readings

•    Vehicles being sold with ‘full manufacturer’s service history’ when no such history existed

•    A vehicle being sold which was subject to a finance agreement

•    Vehicles being sold with various disguised faults such as a sand filled radiator.

•    Vehicles being sold with false warranties.

In many instances registration documents and other paperwork were withheld until the cars were paid for and taken from the forecourt.  When customers returned vehicles or tried to get warranty work undertaken they were met with ridicule and abuse from some of the defendants.

Colin Rumford, a spokesman for the Scambuster Team, said: “This has been a very long and difficult investigation frustrated by the lack of cooperation by the defendants. The individuals concerned did have any compassion for the customers they were ripping off nor any concern for their legal responsibilities for selling second hand cars.”


The costs of bring this case to court were partly met by a grant from the Office of Fair Trading.

 

The NTSB brings together trading standards experts from services across England and Wales to prioritise, fund and coordinate national and regional enforcement cases. It is responsible for gathering intelligence from around the country to combat rogue traders and tackle priorities such as internet scams, illegal money lending and other issues that go beyond local authority boundaries.

 

***ENDS***


For more information about this case contact David Lodge on 0113 289 8243 or  the regional Scambusters office on 01904 551848. To speak to the National Trading Standards Board regarding a more general enquiry please contact the Trading Standards Institute press office on 0845 6089430.


Notes to editors


The National Trading Standards Board (NTSB) is a group of senior and experienced local government heads of trading standards, representing all trading standards services across England and Wales. The Board was established by the Government to improve the enforcement of laws intended to tackle rogue traders operating both regionally and nationally who are causing harm to consumers and legitimate businesses. The NTSB also issues grants and funds national and regional initiatives such as SCAMBUSTERS, the Illegal Money Lending Team and the e-Crime Unit.


SCAMBUSTERS is an NTSB funded project aimed at targeting rogue trading and scams across England Wales & Scotland, supporting 62 local authorities, protecting 21 million consumers.


Further notes to editors

The Yorkshire & the Humber Scambuster Team is operated by City of York Council on behalf of the NTSB and the 11 trading standards services in the Yorkshire and the Humber region.