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Salesman avoids prison after assisting in dealership scam

Time 9:40 am, September 25, 2013

Audi_A3_057AN Audi car salesman has narrowly avoided prison after helping his manager to defraud £37,500 from the dealership.

Gary Smith, 42, admitted swindling Parklands in Gloucester out of the substantial amount of cash with dealership manager, Craig Wellings.

Gloucester Crown Court heard that sales manager Smith, of Dorothy Crescent, Worcester, hadn’t financially benefited from the stolen money, but had been pressured by his co-defendant to help carry out the scandal.

According to, This is Gloucestershire, prosecutor Edward Hetherington said the two members of staff had created 38 false cashback transactions on sold cars, filtering all the money into an account that belongs to Wellings.

Despite the claim that Wellings said Smith had planned to share the cash, financial investigators could find no hard evidence that Smith benefited from the fraud.

Hetherington said: ‘Mr Smith when arrested was immediately compliant with police.

‘He gave full admissions that he played a part – he had altered documents on the instruction of Mr Wellings, but received no financial gain from it.

‘He had been pressurised and influenced by him who threatened to dismiss him from his work.’

Judge William Hart said: ‘You have pleaded guilty on the basis that he drew you into it. He could not have done it without your assistance and he got you to play your part by threats of both a physical nature and about your employment.

‘Despite being as cynical as I need to be, I am satisfied that what you are saying and how you got into this, is the truth. You describe yourself as someone that was vulnerable and weak at the time.’

The court heard that Smith had managed to find himself another job and that his new employer was aware of the proceedings.

He was sentenced to 12 months in prison, suspended for 18 months and ordered to carry out 180 hours of unpaid work. Meanwhile, Wellings, 44, will be sentenced at Gloucester Crown Court at a later date.

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