Reading Fraudster Who Sold Fake Car Service History Books on eBay Sentanced
A FRAUDSTER who sold fake car service history books on eBay has been jailed for three years following a Reading Borough Council lead prosecution.
Mohammed Ashfaq Asghar was sentenced at Reading Crown Court on Friday (20th May) to three years in prison after a Council successfully prosecuted him for trademarks and fraud offences.
Asghar, of Linden Road, Whitley, perpetrated the offences by advertising car service history books on the selling platform, with the additional option of applying dealership stamps on request and creating fake services histories.
Following an investigation, both the service history books themselves and the dealership stamps were found to be counterfeit. Cars sold with genuine dealership service histories are estimated to be worth between 10 and 30% more than cars without service histories on the used car market.
Asghar also duped a former friend to set up bank accounts for him to process the money generated from a total of 3,700 sales – which generated around £75,000 in money – over an 18-month period from January 2018 and June 2019. The bank accounts allowed the fraudster to conceal the income.
When Asghar’s house was raided by Trading Standards in June 2019, around 400 fake service history books of various makes were found, along with 29 fake dealership stamps and several bank cards in the name of his former friend. CCTV footage was also captured of Asghar using one of the cards at a cash machine near Asghar’s home.
Following the Reading Borough Council investigation and prosecution, Asghar pleaded guilty and was convicted at Reading Crown Court of 11 counts of breaching the Fraud Act 2006, Trade Marks Act 1994 and Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.
Reading Borough Council has now commenced Proceeds of Crime Act Proceedings to recover the financial benefit Asghar received from his crimes.
Ellie Emberson, the Council’s Lead Councillor for Regulatory Services, which includes Trading Standards, said:
“This was a particularly serious trademarks case which resulted in it potentially thousands of vehicles out on the streets with false service histories. It was also aggravated by the fact the fraudster convinced a friend to front the bank accounts.
“Trading Standards officers would always advise buyers to check any service history documentation very carefully before purchasing any vehicle.
“My huge congratulations to Trading Standards staff at the Council who doggedly pursued and successfully prosecuted this fraudster. It is the sort of important work which goes on behind the scenes at the Council which is often overlooked, unless you are unfortunate enough to be directly involved in a scam. The three-year sentence should serve as a warning to anyone else selling counterfeit goods.”
Anyone who is suspicious about the service history that came with their used car should seek advice and report their concerns to the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0808 223 1133.