Being able to buy a luxury car at auction is something that will be of great interest to many people. Having the chance to snap up a Ferrari or a Bentley without breaking the bank is the dream for most motorists, and this is why news of car auctions are always enticing and exciting for many people. However, there is usually a negative element for some people and in this regard, the positive impact that will be felt by some motorists will be balanced out by the fact that some rogue traders have been punished. It is not as though many people in the general public will have too much sympathy for rogue traders, but there needs to be a trade-off in life.
The fleet of cars were seized by a Trading Standards team based in York and they were auctioned off to the general public at the start of March. Five Bentleys and a Ferrari were included in the haul of 12 cars that were taken. These cars were sized by Peter Bray and Kirk Claus who had been convicted by the Crown Court in Leeds. Their main crime was in defrauding customers of the Chequered Flag sales firm which is located in Halifax. The court issued an order on the two men to pay over £6m. The order of £6.4m was to pay back the amount of money that had been gained through illegal sales at their second hand garage store. However, there was an investigation undertaken which found that the complete level of criminal benefit earned by the two, and four co-defendants, was over £26m.
Buyers travelling far and wide to snap up a great car
The auction took place in Northern Ireland but potential buyers travelled far and wide to have a chance of getting a genuine bargain. One of the Bentleys was an Arnage 6.7 T5 vehicle, there were three Land Cruisers on offer, there were three vehicles which were specialist vehicles from America and there was also a Ferrari 360 Modena 2 Door Coupe.
Sonja Crisp is the cabinet member with Portfolio for Trading Standards in York, and she spoke to local media about the case. She said; “Our Scambuster team has led to Claus being compelled to compensate 19 of his victims a total £44,430.20 from monies confiscated. This sale will go towards that compensation and also the £6.4m payback ordered through the Proceeds of Crime Act. Our tenacious investigators work hard to see justice being done and criminals making appropriate amends, which goes towards establishing proper trading standards and public trust in traders.”
POCA has been a big deterrent against crime
The Proceeds of Crime Act serves as a further deterrent against committing this sort of crime, which is clearly something that the law enforcement agencies are looking to develop. It used to be that many criminals knew that there was a risk of imprisonment for their actions but that their money or illegal gains would be available for them when they were released. This meant that many criminals were willing to take this sort of risk for the long term benefit that their activities would provide. With POCA, this is no longer the case, and it has had an impact on the actions of many people.
The double-whammy element of the potential loss of money means that there is a need for anyone facing these charges to find the best standard of support and representation. This can make all the difference when it comes to putting your case forward in the best possible, while also helping you to stay in charge of your own finances. Just because someone has been charged after a Trading Standards investigation is no indicator that they are actually guilty.
It can be all too easy for public opinion to go against people which may lead to pressure being placed on them, but knowing that you have a high standard of support from experts can make all the difference. When it comes to facing an interview under caution for Trading Standards cases, legal advice will help you to feel more confident about your chances of success.
Andrew Reilly is a freelance writer with a focus on news stories and consumer interest articles. He has been writing professionally for 9 years but has been writing for as long as he can care to remember. When Andrew isn’t sat behind a laptop or researching a story, he will be found watching a gig or a game of football.