A used car dealer who swindled customers and finance companies out of about £215,000 has been forced to pay back over £250,000 of his ill gotten gains.
Eric Scragg (born 31/05/1963) of Godley, Tameside sold numerous high-value cars for unsuspecting customers who were never paid what they were owed as Scragg pocketed the cash.
He also set up fraudulent finance agreements in order to sell on the cars, defrauding finance companies out of thousands of pounds.
He was jailed in December 2010, to 14 months imprisonment and today, Friday 29 June 2012, appeared at Minshull Street Crown Court where he was forced to payback £258,511 to his victims.
Scragg has to repay the money within six months or will be jailed for a further three years.
Scragg owned and ran Village Car Sales, Manchester Road, Cheadle, between late 2003/early 2004 and January 2007, during which he committed the offences.
He would typically approach private sellers and offer to sell the vehicles from his showroom. Scragg would then take the cars and sell them on, but the customers themselves never saw a penny of the profits, with Scragg claiming he would transfer the money electronically but failing to do so. On some occasions cheques written by Scragg bounced.
When aggrieved customers tried to get their money back, Scragg could never be contacted or found.
Among the high-value cars stolen in this way were a BMW worth about £32,000 an Audi A4 worth about £19,000, a Toyota MR2 worth about £9,000, a Mercedes CLK worth more than £20,000, a Mini Cooper worth more than £11,000, a Toyota Celica worth about £10,000 and a Mazda MX5 worth more than £10,000.
Scragg also defrauded finance companies out of tens of thousands of pounds by using false details to secure large cash value financial agreements and not making the repayments.
Financial Investigator Detective Constable John Townsend said: "This was a long investigation but thanks to officer’s dedication, we have managed get the victim’s money back that they lost through Scragg’s deception. He has also been forced to pay interest on top of what he originally took.
"I hope this case serves as a warning to anyone who thinks they can use a business as a front to steal and defraud. We will pursue these sorts of people relentlessly and are committed to the victim’s cause to ensure they receive what is owed to them.”