A CAR dealer who removed more than 750,000 miles from the odometers of vehicles he sold via the internet has been given a suspended jail sentence.
An investigation by Northamptonshire trading standards officers resulted in Gershorn Hatinawedu, 39, who ran a workshop in Geddington Road, Corby, being charged with 17 counts of fraud, according to a report in the Northampton Chronicle and Echo.
Hatinawedu used false identities to buy cars using online auction sites, Northampton Crown Court heard. He then ‘clocked’ the mileages before selling them on via Auto Trader, the newspaper reported. The vehicles involved included a Vauxhall Astra and VW Golfs.
One car had a hefty 130,000 miles removed and, in total, more than 750,000 miles were taken off odometers. Hatinawedu, of Islay Walk, Corby, is thought to have made £12,000 using the fraudulent tactic.
He appeared in court for sentence this week after admitting the 17 fraud charges in January. The Chronicle and Echo said he was sentenced to an 18-month suspended prison sentence and ordered to complete 250 hours of unpaid work.
He was also told to pay £500 costs and was subject to a six-month curfew between hours of 7pm and 7am.
Councillor Andre Gonzales de Savage, in charge of public protection at Northamptonshire County Council, said Hatinawedu had been ‘blatantly defrauding’ customers … ‘who unknowingly bought vehicles that had travelled more miles, consequently with more wear and tear, than they were led to believe’.
He told the Chronicle and Echo: ‘This is a great result for our trading standards team.’