Rogue dealer who described unroadworthy cars as ‘fantastic’ is jailed

Time 9:39 am, September 29, 2014

scales-of-justice-gavel_4A WEST Yorkshire car dealer has been jailed for ‘a catalogue of fraudulent behaviour in order to get extra profits’.

Christopher Christoforou, who traded as Sandmoor Motors of Leeds Road, Birstall, was sent to prison for six months by a judge at Leeds Crown Court.

He had pleaded guilty to 26 breaches of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations.

The charges he admitted related to falsely advertising vehicle mileages; misdescribing unroadworthy vehicles as being in ‘absolutely fantastic condition’; blanking out advisory items from MoT certificates and not declaring insurance write-off statuses to customers.

A proceeds of crime investigation is under way, the Wetherby News reported.

The court heard that trading standards officials had received a number of complaints about Sandmoor Motors.

One concerned a Renault Clio which had been advertised as having 60,000 miles on the clock when the actual mileage was 76,000 miles, the newspaper said.

In addition, the customer had not been told that the vehicle was a category C insurance write-off and that six advisory items had been blanked off the MoT certificate.

Sandmoor Motors was subjected to a three-pronged investigation involving trading standards, VOSA and West Yorkshire Police.

The Wetherby News reported that Recorder Simon Batiste told Christoforou that he ‘had chosen to to ignore the warnings given by trading standards and had committed a catalogue of fraudulent and dishonest behaviour in order to get extra profits’.

Afterwards, David Lodge, head of West Yorkshire trading standards service, said: ‘This case illustrates that some traders are prepared to act dishonestly and make thousands of pounds by doing so. This service can and will take legal action against that minority of traders who flout their legal responsibilities.

‘Trading standards continues to work with partner agencies to investigate criminal offences and to deprive offenders of their ill-gotten gains.’

Councillor Andrew Pinnock, of the West Yorkshire trading standards committee, said: ‘Vehicles advertised on the internet are not always what they appear to be. It pays to carry out checks before any purchase on both history and condition.’


Dave Brown's avatar

Dave, production editor on Car Dealer Magazine, is a journalist with more than 30 years' experience in the worlds of newspapers, magazines and public relations.

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