Car salesman faces jail after keeping proceeds of sales

A car salesman has pleaded guilty to two offences of selling cars belonging to his employer to pay for his gambling habit.

Steven Armstrong, 37, from Butterley Hill, Ripley, Notts, appeared before Nottingham Magistrates, where he admitted selling on three cars belonging to his employer Vertu VW in West Bridgford. He then falsified the paperwork and used the money to pay off loan sharks who had lent him money to fund his addiction to gambling.

The crimes came to light when the dealership’s manager noticed problems with one of the invoices.

Nottingham Magistrates heard that Armstrong had started gambling after the death of his mother and had borrowed money to pay for it. He has since stopped betting after attending Gamblers’ Anonymous, the Nottingham Post reported.

Alex Chapman, mitigating, said: "On the way home, he would stop at the bookies and play the infamous roulette machines. In his words 'that is a reason and not an excuse'.."

Armstrong admitted to dishonestly abusing his position as an employee of the firm in the sale of vehicles and dishonestly abusing his position with the provision of credit services where no authorisation should have been given.

He is now facing a jail sentence. Magistrates courts only have the ability to impose jail sentences of up to a year, and Deputy District Judge Richard Marshall referred the case to the city’s Crown Court.

He told Armstrong: "My view is that the sentence is beyond the reach of this court."

Armstrong was given unconditional bail to appear at Nottingham Crown Court on March 15.

Vertu, which has more than 120 dealerships around the UK, said it would not be commenting on the case at present.

It’s important to keep on top of all the paperwork at your business, and that also means your insurance, including your motor trade insurance and road risks insurance.