Seven fraudsters have been sentenced for their role in a car finance scam which netted them over £125,000.
Over a three-year period, members of the group purchased six cars from car dealers in Stoke-on-Trent using finance obtained by supplying false details.
These included passports and driving licences using false names and fake utility bills and wage slips. They then conspired to convert or transfer the vehicles and launder the proceeds so they could flee to Spain.
Among the vehicles purchased were a Jaguar and Mercedes. In total, vehicle finance worth £104,765 and £19,690 of loans were fraudulently gained.
The offenders were arrested following a lengthy inquiry by Staffordshire Police’s Economic Crime Unit. They were sentenced at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court after pleading guilty to various charges at an earlier hearing; they subsequently received sentences ranging from 12 to 23 months.
Russell Smith, from the Economic Crime Unit, said: “This group were involved in wide-scale fraudulent activity targeting Stoke-on-Trent car dealers between 2005 and 2008. “Our financial investigation enabled us to identify the offenders during a lengthy inquiry which led to their guilty pleas at court. Financial crime affects everyone – whether directly or indirectly. These sentences send out a clear message that we will investigate and disrupt criminal groups at every opportunity.”
For further information visit the Staffordshire Police website.
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