Birmingham Crown CourtBirmingham Crown Court


Dodgy car dealer jailed for nearly three years for selling ‘unroadworthy’ vehicles which left drivers ‘lucky to be alive’

  • Unscrupulous car dealer jailed for selling dangerous vehicles in prolonged scam
  • Mohammed Sajad conned customers out of close to £60,000 by selling unroadworthy cars
  • Judge fears 11 victims identified in court could be ‘the tip of the iceberg’ as far as offending is concerned
  • Dealer told one buyer ‘tough luck’ when they complained about rusting frame of Land Rover Defender

Time 11:08 am, June 29, 2023

A dodgy car dealer has been jailed for almost three years after he admitted ripping off customers by selling unroadworthy ‘death trap’ vehicles.

Mohammed Sajad conned 11 different customers out of a combined £58,000 by selling apparently ‘stunning’ cars on a range of online platforms.

In reality, the vehicles weren’t fit for the roads and when repair work was factored in, victims were found to have lost more than £100,000 in the scam.

The 24-year-old admitted conspiracy to defraud, conspiracy to launder the proceeds of crime and entering into a money laundering arrangement at Birmingham Crown Court earlier this year.

He has now returned to the dock, where he was jailed for two years and 11 months.

The court heard fears that the victims identified were just ‘the tip of the iceberg’ when it came to the defendant’s offending.

Judge Tom Rochford was told that one customer was ‘lucky to be alive’ due to a faulty fuel tank that could have blown up at any time.

The case was brought to court by Birmingham City Council, whose prosecutor Mark Jackson, told the court: ‘The case relates to the defendant’s involvement in a dishonest scheme advertising and selling motor vehicles, many of them unroadworthy and dangerous.

‘The defendant and, it is alleged, his co-accused, sold dozens and dozens of vehicles using false business names, identities/forged documents including false service histories.

‘In the main, sales were made online and via telephone. Over and over again the defendant made dishonest and misleading representations with victims being given false, misleading, and wholly dishonest information.’

During the sentencing hearing, it was revealed that Sajad had been trading under several business names including Yew Tree Cars, Sam Harrison Cars and Lee Hudson Cars.

In reality he was making his neighbours’ lives a ‘living hell’ by flooding the area with old bangers that he was selling online, the Birmingham Mail reports.

The victims

The customers who fell into Sajad’s trap have not been identified but the court did hear several stories about their experiences.

One woman, from Sheffield bought a £2,900 Mini Cooper from him on Auto Trader in May 2018 but was eventually forced to spend more than £3,000 on a new clutch and turbo after it kept losing power and Sajad refused to assist.

On another occasion, in May 2019, a customer was tricked into buying a Toyota Avensis, which had been structurally damaged in a crash and had outstanding finance against it.

Then, just two months later, a woman bought a Skoda from Sajad – who was posing under the name ‘Adam’ – but discovered a faulty window as she drove it away from his house.

She tried to return the car but the conman told her instead to buy a new fuse from Halfords.

In reality, the whole window mechanism was missing and had undergone a botched repair which included it being held in place by a piece of wood.

When she reached out to Sajad, he told her that cars sold under £1,500 were ‘sold as seen and as unroadworthy’.

The following year, the fraudster, of Vibart Road in Birmingham, sold a Ford Ka, which he described as being ‘an excellent example’, ‘exemplary’ and ‘truly well-loved’.

However, the buyer noticed a strong smell of petrol on his way home and upon further inspection the fuel tank was found to be rusty and corroded.

A local garage later told him the car was ‘too dangerous to drive’ and ‘could have blown up at any time’.

Elsewhere, one customer paid £5,000 for a Land Rovery Discovery which was later described as a ‘deathtrap’ by a mechanic and another spent £11,000 on a ‘filthy’ Mercedes which had damaged alloy wheels, tryes below the legal tread depth and paint scratches.

Another victim was told ‘tough luck’ by Sajad when he complained that the £4,250 Discovery he bought from him had a severely corroded frame.

Overall, the court heard that a whopping 360 cars were delivered to the defendant’s home from a single auction house between October 2019 and June 2021.

‘Deceit was a core part of business’

Sajad’s barrister argued to the judge that his client felt ‘genuine regret and remorse’ for his actions and said he had acted with ‘immaturity’.

However, Judge Rochford said that only a custodial sentence would fit the crimes, adding that ”deceit was a core part for this business’.

He told the court that other victims were likely to have been involved in the scam, saying it was ‘unrealistic’ to assume otherwise.

He jailed the defendant for two years and 11 months and imposed a ten-year Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO), banning him from selling cars in the future.

In response to the story, a spokesman from Auto Trader told Car Dealer: ‘We are committed to ensuring that our customers’ buying and selling experiences are as safe and secure as possible.’

Pictured: Birmingham Crown Court (PA Images)

Jack Williams's avatar

Jack joined the Car Dealer team in 2021 as a staff writer. He previously worked as a national newspaper journalist for BNPS Press Agency. He has provided news and motoring stories for a number of national publications including The Sun, The Times and The Daily Mirror.

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