Two convicted car traders have been ordered to pay back almost £100,000 by Preston Crown Court today (Friday 21 December).Advertisement
Following a prosecution by Lancashire County Council Trading Standards Service, two men trading together as Rockbank Motors must now pay £99,186.
Mubasshar Azam and Amar Ahmed both had garages in Darwen and Preston.
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Complaints were received from around the country showing that the traders were selling poorly made vehicles and refusing to compensate customers when things went wrong.
Vehicles broke down shortly after purchase and the traders used various phrases including ‘spares/repairs invoice’ and ‘restocking fee’ to refuse consumers their legal rights on cars that were not of satisfactory quality.
Azman was ordered to pay back £79,186 and Ahmed £10,000 in a Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 hearing brought by Lancashire Trading Standards.
£10,000 in costs was also awarded to Lancashire County Council for bringing the case.
Part of the award goes directly in full compensation to all purchasers who gave statements to investigating officers, while the rest of the award is split between the Government, the Courts and Trading Standards.
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The council’s share of the money must be used for future consumer safeguarding work.
Now the traders must pay the awards within 12 weeks or they will be sent to jail for one year and six months respectively.
This follows a Trading Standards prosecution at Preston Crown Court on 13 October 2017 where both traders were sentenced to 200 hours unpaid work orders, three-year director disqualification, and either curfews or Rehabilitation Activity days.
County Councillor Albert Atkinson, deputy leader of Lancashire County Council, said: “Lancashire Trading Standards received 560 complaints about second hand cars this year.
“We run a Persistent Traders Project where car dealers causing problems are tackled, firstly with advice and assistance, and secondly, where our advice is not followed and where complaint levels do not improve, by further measures including prosecutions of those who continue to flaunt their legal duties to consumers.
“Car traders should take note that we expect fair and honest trading within our borders.”
If you have concerns about the sale of illegal goods, or require advice on vehicles or any other goods they have purchased, you can contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 04 05 06.