Southampton Crown Court, Sep 2020Southampton Crown Court, Sep 2020

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Bankrupt used car dealer jailed after conning dealerships out of more than £82,000

  • Jonathan Nolan, 62, of Southampton, appeared at crown court for sentencing
  • He’d been declared bankrupt but sent dealerships invoices for cars he didn’t have
  • They paid him £82,250 in total but didn’t get their cars and the money was moved on
  • Insolvency Service said he ‘deliberately ripped off two car dealers’
  • Judge slams ‘thoroughly dishonest’ behaviour
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Time 7:34 am, November 23, 2023

A used car dealer who defrauded dealerships to the tune of £82,250 has been put behind bars.

Jonathan Nolan was declared bankrupt in 2010 but carried out his crimes in 2017 and 2018 after being convicted in 2016 for offences under the Insolvency Act.

A 12-month prison sentence suspended for 24 months was put in place then for Nolan failing to disclose around £60,000 in income during the bankruptcy.


Southampton Crown Court was told that in 2017 and 2018, 62-year-old Nolan, of Ardnave Crescent, Bassett, Southampton, sent out invoices for a Ford Fiesta, two Honda CRVs, a Mazda CX5 and a Mazda 3 as well as a Kia Sportage – none of which he actually had.

In return, he pocketed £82,250, but the dealerships never received their cars and the money was moved on elsewhere.

He originally pleaded not guilty to six charges of fraud by misrepresentation but admitted them when his case went to trial, with the court being told he’d been ‘robbing Peter to pay Paul’.


Nolan was slammed as ‘thoroughly dishonest’ by Judge Nicholas Rowland while sentencing him on Tuesday, adding that there’d been a ‘high degree of recklessness’.

The court, pictured via Google Street View, was told by prosecutor Trevor Archer that the frauds had seen ‘the abuse of trust built up in previous dealings’ and were ‘relatively sophisticated’, according to a Southern Daily Echo report.

In mitigation, Jamie Gammon said Nolan had ‘found it very difficult to accept that he was overtly dishonest’ and had been attempting to ‘do the only thing he knows’, which was selling and buying cars.

Gammon added: ‘He still remains bankrupt and, I imagine, would find it very difficult to discharge himself from here on.

‘He leaves behind a wife who will struggle to pay the mortgage.’

Nolan, who was on crutches, was said to have various appointments for physical conditions and also suffered from short-term memory loss.

He was jailed for two years – 18 of them for the frauds and six for breaking the suspended sentence.

The fraud offences were identified in 2020 as part of an Insolvency Service investigation into potential bankruptcy offences.

The fraud offences in 2017 related to five separate instances where Nolan sold five cars to a car dealership, despite not being the legal owner. He gained a total of £75,400 through these frauds.


In addition, in January 2018, Nolan committed a separate fraud when he sold the same Ford Fiesta to two separate dealerships one day apart and gained a further £6,850 through his fraudulent behaviour.

After the case: Glenn Wicks, chief investigator at the Insolvency Service, said: ‘Nolan deliberately ripped off two car dealers who thought they were making legitimate purchases. I am pleased our investigation uncovered his fraudulent behaviour and has resulted in a custodial sentence.’

This story was initially published at 7.34am on November 23 and updated at 6.44am on November 24 with fresh information about the jail sentences and offences.

John Bowman's avatar

John has been with Car Dealer since 2013 after spending 25 years in the newspaper industry as a reporter then a sub-editor/assistant chief sub-editor on regional and national titles. John is chief sub-editor in the editorial department, working on Car Dealer, as well as handling social media.

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