A van seller who routinely clocked the mileage on vehicles he sold has been ordered to pay more than £12,000 compensation after he was prosecuted by Trading Standards.
William Carroll, 32, of Four Acres Caravan Site, Cirencester, in Gloucestershire, was taken to court following a 12-month investigation.
His activities came to light when someone who bought a van from Carroll in a layby in Llanbradach complained. Carroll gave a false name at a genuine address in Quakers Yard, Treharris. Months of investigation traced Carroll selling clocked vans as far afield as Cornwall.
Carroll had been advertising in Auto Trader magazine and selling the vehicles using false names and addresses throughout South Wales and the South West of England.
Caerphilly County Borough Council Trading Standards discovered that Carroll was purchasing high mileage vehicles, turning the milometer back, and then selling them onto unsuspecting purchasers at a substantial profit.
In total, the reduction in miles as a consequence of Carroll ‘clocking’ the vehicles was calculated at a staggering 1.6 million miles.
Carroll appeared at Abergavenny Magistrates’ Court on Friday May 20 where he admitted six charges of committing fraud by false representation.
He was sentenced to 216 hours unpaid work, and ordered to pay a total of £12,350 compensation to consumers that had been duped into buying his vehicles.
He was also ordered to pay prosecution costs of £6,000, and one of the vehicles seized by Trading Standards was also forfeited.
Cllr Rob Gough, cabinet member for public protection said: “These despicable crimes were a deliberate attempt to dupe unsuspecting members of the public, and I am pleased that the court has emphasised the seriousness of the offences in the penalties it has imposed.
“I want to send out a clear message to those who feel they can act illegally in this manner that our Trading Standards team work tirelessly to help bring offenders of such crimes to justice.”
On passing sentence, District Judge Richard Williams said it was a “systematic” fraud, designed to “deliberately and dishonestly affect members of the public”.