Car dealer jailed on 26 accounts of fraud

A car dealer in West Yorkshire has been jailed for fraudulent behaviour as he repeatedly mislead customers.

Christopher Christoforou, who traded as Sandmoor Motors in Leeds Road, has been sentenced to six months in prison after he pleaded guilty to 26 counts of breaching the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations. Leeds Crown Court heard that his crimes relate to falsely advertising the cars’ mileage, stating that unroadworthy vehicles were in "absolutely fantastic condition", and not declaring his stock’s accident history.

For a car dealer to have a black spot on their record will not only destroy their reputation in the local area, it will also severely damage their chances of obtaining a motor trade insurance policy. Whether it's road risks insurance or combined trader’s insurance, evidence of dishonesty and criminal activity will make insurers very reluctant to offer a car dealer or mechanic the policy they need.

According to the Wetherby News, a proceeds of crime investigation against Mr Christoforou is now under way.

David Lodge, head of West Yorkshire trading standards service, commented: “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.”