‘Arrogant’ used car dealer jailed for ‘living the high life’ by selling faulty and written-off vehicles

  • Dodgy used car dealer jailed for selling written-off and faulty vehicles
  • Samuel Smith made over £1m conning unsuspecting customers in Newark
  • He used money to fund lavish lifestyle, including holidays in Monaco and Dubai

Time 8:45 am, April 29, 2024

An ‘arrogant’ used car dealer who ‘lived the high life’ by selling written-off and faulty vehicles has been put behind bars after a dressing-down from a judge.

Samuel Smith ripped off unsuspecting customers by ‘brazenly’ selling dodgy cars via his company Motor Value, of Newark, Notts.

The father-of-one used the proceeds to fund a lavish lifestyle for himself, which included buying a Ferrari and holidaying in Dubai and Monaco.

The offences took place between June 2018 and May 2020, with the 34-year-old making thousands from his shady dealings.

Nottingham Crown Court heard last week that Smith used a local independent garage, which he told to only carry out ‘minimal repairs’ to vehicles.

Once cars were at a level to pass an MOT test, he then sold them on for huge profits, the Nottingham Post reports.

He also made bogus claims that vehicles came with RAC warranties, and became ‘aggressive’ if customers complained.

Outlining the case against Smith, prosecutor Simon Eckersley pointed to several cases where buyers either bought or put down deposits on cars that turned out to be ‘not as advertised or faulty’.

One woman even travelled to Newark from Maidstone – a round trip of 320 miles – only to find that Smith had lied about a Mini Cooper only having two previous owners.

On another occasion, a customer paid £3,495 for a Peugeot 308 that broke down on the way home from the dealership.

Smith, who admitted conspiracy to defraud, initially agreed to repair the car but it broke down again, costing the buyer £2,200 in repair work.

When investigators eventually looked into Smith’s affairs, they found a Lloyds account with £1,149,986 in it.

Eckersley told the court: ‘An investigation began and…the operation showed there were receipts in a Lloyds bank account of £1,149,986.’

The probe also found that Smith and his wife lived a lavish lifestyle, buying luxury cars – including a Ferrari – and holidaying in Dubai and Monaco.

‘Very, very, hard lessons learned’

After hearing all the evidence, Judge Stuart Rafferty KC jailed Smith for 32 months, giving him a major dressing-down in the process.

The judge accused the car dealer of ‘greed’ and said he hadn’t shown ‘even a flicker of remorse’.

Judge Rafferty said: ‘You set out with a clear purpose – to make as much money as you could. You were prepared to sell written-off vehicles, passing them off as shiny and new, and that was a lie.

‘You were so brazen you sold one written-off car twice and when people had the temerity to complain to you, you responded with aggression and for one simple reason – greed.

‘That is what brought you to where you are now. When the balloon finally went up, you flatly refused to co-operate with the HMRC and even had the temerity to say you would sue them.

‘That shows absolutely staggering arrogance and you have come to court without even a flicker of remorse. You lived the high life and this was so persistently and outrageously unfair that only a prison sentence is appropriate.’

In mitigation, Smith’s lawyer, Michelle Clarke, said her client had learned some ‘very, very hard lessons’. She added that Smith, of Great North Road in Newark, had attempted to take his own life.

She added: ‘The man that was deceiving these people is not the man who is now standing in the dock. There have been some very, very, hard lessons learnt by him.’

Smith, who has a wife and five-year-old daughter, remains subject to an HMRC investigation, although some compensation deals have already been agreed.

Main image: Nottingham Crown Court, ©Rui Vieira/PA Archive/PA Images

Jack Williams's avatar

Jack joined the Car Dealer team in 2021 as a staff writer. He previously worked as a national newspaper journalist for BNPS Press Agency. He has provided news and motoring stories for a number of national publications including The Sun, The Times and The Daily Mirror.

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