A CONMAN tricked a car buyer out of more than £1,500 after his victim appealed for help on an adult swingers’ social network.
Bolton Magistrates’ Court heard how Simon Potter wanted to buy a car but because of his poor credit rating, was having difficulty obtaining finance.
Glenn Anderton, prosecuting, told the court how Mr Potter placed a message on the Fat Swingers website in July last year and 38-year-old Jason Hart responded, claiming he worked for vehicle dealers Carcraft.
He told Mr Potter he could get him a car and arrange the finance through his work and, on August 15, Mr Potter and his partner Sylvia Quinn met Hart at the Fish Cafe in Brackley Street, Farnworth.
Mr Anderton said Hart gave Mr Potter a choice of two vehicles, with the one his victim selected worth £12,395.
Mr Potter handed over £350 to Hart to arrange the deal, but instead of receiving a car Hart kept claiming there were a number of glitches with the application and asked for more money to help resolve them.
In all Mr Potter paid him £1,500 and when the cash ran out, handed over his iPhone 5 worth £350.
The car buyer became suspicious after Hart contacted him in September to say he had lost his job at the car company over arranging credit.
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Mr Anderton said: “Mr Potter contacted Carcraft and realised the whole thing had been a fraud.
“Although the car seen by Mr Potter was real, Hart had never worked for the company.”
When questioned by police Hart claimed the money he had been paid by Mr Potter was to set up a swingers’ website.
In a statement read out in court, Mr Potter said he had been “sick with worry” over the loss of the cash and had wanted to buy a car so that he could find employment in order to pay off debts.
Hart, of Moorside Avenue, Farnworth, pleaded guilty to fraud.
Peter Leather, defending, described the case as “a rather bizarre set of circumstances”.
He added: “It is extraordinary that if you are looking to buy a car, you place a posting on the Fat Swingers website.”
He said Hart, who has previous convictions for fraud, was in debt himself and had been tempted by the appeal.
Mr Leather said: “Mr Potter has been extraordinarily gullible in this.”
Hart will be sentenced on June 13 following the preparation of reports.