Fraudster jailed for lying about setting up used car dealership to claim £25,000 Covid grant

  • Fraudster jailed for 15 months over fake car dealership scam
  • Shaun James lied about owning car showroom so he could claim £25,000 Covid grant
  • Con artist showed authorities fake documents to convince them to give him the money

Time 11:13 am, April 5, 2022

A fraudster has been jailed after he lied about running a used car dealership in order to claim a a £25,000 Covid support grant from the government.

Shaun James, from Neath, told authorities he had set up his very own showroom in February 2020 in order to get his hands on cash put aside to help businesses during the pandemic.

The con artist went to huge lengths to make his scheme believable and even provided fake invoices for cars and a forged lease agreement for premises in nearby Port Talbot.

He was eventually caught out by Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council and recently pleaded guilty to an offence under the Fraud Act 2006.

The 28-year-old has now appeared at Swansea Crown Court where he was handed a 15-month jail term.

WalesOnline reports that he was already subject to a suspended sentence order from March 2019 for previous convictions of dishonest trading.

Judge Geraint Walters therefore also sentenced him to a further nine months in prison, to be served consecutively.

Shaun James (Credit: South Wales Police)

Ceri Morris, head of planning and public protection at Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council, said: ‘This sentence should act as a warning to others that those who wilfully attempt to defraud members of the public or the authority will be prosecuted.

‘These grants were put in place in order to ensure legitimate business were able to survive at a time of national crisis.

‘False claims put extra pressures on those administering these claims prolonging the process for legitimate traders.

‘The cost of such claims will be felt by consumers for many years.’

The case mirrored a similar incident Car Dealer reported in February, which saw student Kurt Barkhuizen declared bankrupt.

The 28-year-old also claimed a £50,000 Covid aid loan for a car dealership that did not exist and used the money to fund a lavish lifestyle.

He was banned from running any company for a period of nine years.

Main picture: Swansea 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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