A SALESMAN lied to the owners of high-performance cars while his company pocketed thousands of pounds of their cash.

Andrew Eastwood worked as one of three salesmen for Bridgeman Street, Great Lever, based SK Performance Cars, in 2015.

The firm, owned by Shan Fiaz, acted as a broker, selling luxury vehicles on behalf of their owners.

But after the vehicles were sold, proceeds were not passed on to the owners.

At Bolton Crown Court, Andrew Eastwood, aged 51, of Bollin Walk, Whitefield, was sentenced to do 120 hours unpaid work after pleading guilty to two counts of fraud.

One charge related to a Bentley Armage, worth £20,000, belonging to Jeffrey Ellwood and the second charge involved an Audi S3, valued at £23,000,

Andrea Lock, prosecuting, told the court how Eastwood was one of three salesmen working for Fiaz.

The salesmen contacted owners of high performance cars who had advertised their vehicles for sale on Auto Trader or the PistonHeads website and persuaded them to place the vehicles with SK Performance Cars.

Miss Lock added that owners were attracted to use the firm because of credit facilities which could be utilised by potential purchasers who may also prefer to buy from a dealer rather than an individual.

But the car owners were lied to when they contacted SK Performance to enquire whether the sales were proceeding.

Miss Lock said that on one occasion Mr Ellwood rang Eastwood to enquire about his Bentley.

“Mr Eastwood alleviated the fears of the owner by saying that he was actually sat on the wing of the car in the showroom as they spoke,” said Miss Lock.

“In fact the vehicle had been sold some months earlier.”

But the court heard that Eastwood did not benefit personally from the deception, the only money he received from the firm was his wages.

Two other salesmen who worked for SK Performance have since died.

Matthew Lawson, defending, stressed that Eastwood, who lives with his mother and acts as her carer, is remorseful.

Judge Graeme Smith said he accepted Eastwood had not planned the fraud.

“But you allowed yourself to be directed to do things that were dishonest and wrong,” he told the defendant.

“It is clear you received no specific gain. You just went along with what you were required to do.”

Shan Fiaz, aged 28, of Wentworth Avenue, Whitefield, has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud and sending a malicious communication. He is due to be sentenced at Bolton Crown Court on February 8.