A car dealership in Berkshire was targeted by a fraudster who had his eyes on a £24,000 BMW.
Sytner Sunningdale was looking to sell a 5 Series on finance to mature student Karl Yeboah, but when he put in a loan application in April 2021, he did it under the name of Jessica Smith, which sparked suspicions.
A fraud investigator contacted Ms Smith but she didn’t know that the application had been made, reported the Bracknell News.
Shaan Sethi, prosecuting at Reading Crown Court, said Yeboah was subsequently arrested when he went to the dealership to pick up the car.
He had a driving licence in his name as well as a driving licence in Ms Smith’s name, the latter of which turned out to be a forgery.
‘The defendant said he was collecting the car for his wife, but in interview made admissions to the effect of being set up,’ Sethi told the court.
The finance application wasn’t approved and Ms Smith hadn’t suffered any adverse consequences, according to the report.
Yeboah, 27, of Lower Addiscombe Road, Croydon, pleaded guilty to fraud and possessing false identity documents with intent.
In mitigation, Dan Taylor said: ‘This has been a bad call from him. His involvement in this is reflective of extremely poor judgment. He got nothing from it.
‘He is not employed at present. He is due to continue with his university course at South Bank University in September to do advanced construction.’
Taylor added that Yeboah, who had a previous conviction for possessing a class B drug, suffered from mental health difficulties, which included psychosis episodes, and had been admitted to hospital in the past.
He told district judge Nicholas Wattam that custody wouldn’t be conducive to helping Yeboah’s recovery and the judge opted for a suspended prison sentence.
Giving Yeboah a 16-month jail term suspended for a year plus an order to carry out 180 hours of unpaid work as well as 30 rehabilitation activity requirement days, Judge Wattam was quoted as saying: ‘This was clearly a thoroughly dishonest thing to have done.
‘Had you got away with it, it may have had a significant impact on Ms Smith, whose name you used. You displayed very poor judgment.
‘It seems to me you are capable of rehabilitation. You certainly, at one time, had quite a bit going for you, so your life has come off the rails. Probation are prepared to work with you.’
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