A SECOND hand car dealer, who conned potential buyers into handing over deposits for vehicles they never received, has been jailed for 18 months.
Bolton Crown Court heard how, between May 2012 and January 2013, Marc Szreder advertised vehicles for sale on Auto Trader and Gumtree websites.
But William Donnelly, prosecuting, told how, when potential buyers made contact with CC Cars, the business name Szreder was trading as, they ended up transferring money to him without having seen the vehicles.
Mr Donnelly said: “Prospective purchasers who made enquiries were told there had been a lot of interest in the vehicles and they would have to register their interest by making a deposit.”
Most of the money was paid into CC Cars’ account but two payments also went into the account of Szreder’s partner, Lindsay Carr.
Mr Donnelly added: “There was never any intention on the part of Mr Szreder that he would enter into the sale of the vehicles."
In total car buyers were conned out of £6,330.
Szreder, aged 27, and Carr, aged 25, both of Hawksley Street, Horwich, appeared in the dock together.
Szreder pleaded guilty to 14 counts of fraud and one of theft of a thermal imaging camera he hired and failed to return. Carr admitted two charges of money laundering.
The court heard Szreder, who is also employed as an industrial cleaner, has a lengthy previous criminal record, mainly for motoring-related offences and a history of failing to comply with court orders.
Peter Cunliffe, defending Szreder, said he worked hard to support his family.
He said: “Finances were tight with his partner and young daughter, but clearly that is no excuse. There is genuine remorse.”
Andrew Costello, defending Carr, said the waitress had been naive and loyal to her partner by allowing her bank account to be used.
Sentencing Szreder to 18 months behind bars, Judge Elliott Knopf said he had “reeled in his victims” with the adverts and, due to his experience as a car dealer, convinced them to part with cash.
Judge Knopf said: “You knew what to say and how to engineer it.
“The lesson you should have learnt from you previous involvement with the criminal justice system clearly was not learnt.”
Carr was sentenced to a conditional discharge for two years.