A FATHER and daughter who ran a south Northants second-hand car business duped customers by double-selling cars, keeping hold of deposits and even attempting to sell clocked vehicles.
David King, 65, and his 26-year-old daughter Danielle ran Auto Direct Ltd in Blisworth when Northants Trading Standards began receiving numerous complaints from customers about their business practices.
Matthew Lowe, prosecuting at Northampton Crown Court, said David King double-sold vehicles by taking a deposit from one customer only to cancel the sale by lying about its road-worthiness and would sell it to another. He would then secure a second sale on another car from the first customer.
The sole company director also admitted holding on to customers’ deposits, often telling them a refund cheque could only be issued by his accountant. The court heard how he also sold clocked cars concealing their true mileage.
Danielle King, who worked as the company secretary, admitted she failed to refund a customer’s £250 deposit.
Mr Lowe said the outstanding money owed to customers involved in the criminal charges was only repaid the day before the sentencing hearing.
David King pleaded guilty to 13 fraud charges, committed between April 2009 and June 2010, and was sentenced to 10 months’ imprisonment, suspended for a year, and must do 180 hours’ community service.
Judge Rupert Mayo said he had decided not to ban him from being a company director.
Danielle King, also of Harlestone Road, Northampton, who admitted a single fraud offence, received a 12-month community order with 100 hours’ community service and costs.