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Fraudulent car dealer jailed

Published on Friday, July 15, 2016

A USED car salesman who sold faulty cars with false service histories has been  jailed for fraud.

Sanjay Raja, trading as JR Motors, regularly advertised his vehicles online, and between November 2012 and July 2014 sold a number of cars which turned out to be faulty, despite being described as being in excellent condition.

Raja, aged 49, of Mundesley Road, Hamilton, pleaded guilty to six offences of fraud, and a further offence of forgery/counterfeiting.

On Thursday, July 14, he was jailed for 12 months at a hearing before Leicester Crown Court.

The court heard how Raja’s online sales included a car which was described as being in excellent condition, but which broke down as the buyer was driving home.

Vehicles were offered with a full service history which turned out to be fake. Raja became abusive and threatening to customers who complained, and refused to provide refunds. 

Trading Standards Officers from Leicester City Council searched his home on August 21, 2014, and found garage address stamps and blank service books used for creating false service histories.

The court was told how Raja had committed a further offence while on bail, involving selling online a Vauxhall Corsa with serious faults, and then refusing to deal with the customer’s complaints.

He pleaded guilty to this offence along with the other fraud offences. 

Raja has now agreed to pay back £13,674 in total in compensation to five customers who bought faulty cars from him.

Leicester assistant city mayor for jobs and skills, Cllr Sue Waddington, said: “This case serves as a warning to that minority of traders who set out to rip off unsuspecting customers in Leicester.  

“Sanjay Raja’s dishonesty and treatment of customers was appalling. He was lucky not to get a longer sentence.  

“We are pleased to have recovered compensation for his customers and this will be distributed in due course. 

“I congratulate our officers for pursuing this investigation right up to court action. ”

Leicester City Council’s head of regulatory services, Roman Leszczyszyn, added:  “We are pleased with the outcome and I am thankful to our witnesses for their support and patience.   

“At the end of the day justice was done.  We are going to continue monitoring customer complaints about second-hand cars and will take action where necessary. ”