A car clocker who knocked thousands of miles off car odometers before selling them on to victims has been given a suspended jail term.
Haroon Chaudrey, 45, lured four victims - including a Freckleton man - to an address in Lancashire to peddle dodgy vehicles, despite being in the middle of a court case for similar offences involving 15 other cars.
Burnley Crown Court heard between April and September 2015, the defendant advertised for sale four used cars described as having lower mileage readings than was true.
Prosecuting, Jack Troup said three were sold to purchasers who were not informed the odometer readings were reduced.
The buyer of the fourth, which was advertised with a mileage of 100,000, found the true reading was at least 178,761, and demanded a refund of her deposit, which remains unpaid.
Describing the Freckleton man’s ordeal he said: “In July 2015, he visited the Autotrader website where he viewed an advertisement for The VW Passat.
“The advertisement contains representations as to “111,000 miles”, “massive service history” and “no expense spared”.
“After a short test drive he negotiated a small discount in the price to £975.
“After buying the car he took it straight to his local garage where he learned that it had been clocked.”
The victim, who now lives in Buckshaw Village, contacted VoSA who informed him the last mileage on record for the car was nearly 207,000.
But his calls and messages to Chaudrey, calling himself ‘Kaz’, went unanswered.
He then found the address on the invoice was bogus.
Today he said: "I was devastated that I had been misled over the cars history, The seller came across as a honest nice guy and drew me in like a fool.
"Hind sight is a great thing. Once you’ve been bitten you are ultra-cautious."
Chaudrey, of Montague Street, Brierfield, East Lancashire, admitted participating in a fraudulent business and was given 15 months suspended for two years by Recorder Guy Mathieson.
He must pay costs of £2,345, a £140 victim surcharge, and full compensation of £2,100.
The victim advised other buyers to:
· Check MOT history online – this gives mileage trends over the years
· Check service book for tampering – his had the later pages torn out
· Contact the previous owner – he did a 118118 with the log book details and established the car was traded in with Chaudrey with 100,000 more miles on the clock
· Do your homework - if it looks too good of a bargain be cautious