A COVENTRY man has been ordered to pay more than £15,000 after a court heard how he agreed to sell people’s scrap or broken-down vehicles – but often failed to hand over any payment.
Guiseppe Randino, aged 35, of Woodway Lane, Coventry, had previously pleaded guilty at Warwick Crown Court to 18 counts of misleading consumers, contrary to the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.
He was ordered to pay £12,000 costs and £3,185 in compensation when he appeared before the court for sentencing this month. He also received a six-month jail sentence on each charge, to run concurrent and all suspended for a year. He was also given 12 months supervision.
The court had heard how trading standards officers from Coventry had investigated complaints from consumers over a large area from Kent to Derbyshire who had all agreed to sell Randino their old vehicles, but they were either not paid or were given a payment which was much less than agreed.
Randino would arrange to collect the vehicles after a price was agreed. Customers were told that they would receive the payment by bank transfer and so handed over their cars and the vehicle registration document.
In some cases they were told they would be paid within the hour. When they chased payment, excuses were given but they still didn’t get the money they were owed.
One consumer later found his car was advertised for sale on ebay but he still hadn’t been paid the £500 he was owed. Another had agreed £2,500 for his BMW when it was collected but was only paid £250.
A false trail was left with multiple trading names and addresses that could not be readily traced or did not exist. Websites kept changing and telephone numbers went dead when customers were seeking payment.
Only after trading standards intervened did Randino offer to make some payments to consumers, but even then he did not pay all that was owed, resulting in the court having to make a compensation order for £3,185 that will now be distributed between the complainants.
Councillor Tariq Khan, Chair of Coventry’s licensing and regulation committee, said: ‘This case affected many consumers who were left powerless to get the money they were owed. Without them our trading standards team would not have been able to piece the evidence together to secure this conviction.
‘I hope this serves as a deterrent to those traders who are prepared to exploit their customers.’
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