Following an investigation by the Public Protection Partnership (PPP), Majad Hussain trading as House of Cars at Tidmarsh Lane, Tidmarsh, Berkshire, was sentenced at Reading Crown Court on Monday, 21 January 2019, after pleading guilty to five offences of making false representations as to the conditions of used cars contrary to the Fraud Act 2006, four offences of possession of false stamps purporting to be from car servicing businesses contrary to the Fraud Act 2006 and one offence of possession of falsified service histories for motor vehicles.
Majad Hussain, 33, of Broadmark Road, Slough, set up the House of Cars business in which he advertised cars through Autotrader portraying the cars as being in good condition with full service histories. After receiving complaints from members of the public the investigation confirmed that false stamps were used to falsify entries in the service books. A number of the cars sold were dangerous and unfit for driving on the road.
Complaints generally related to mechanical issues with one car struggling to drive off the business premises. Customers would be left with faulty vehicles or out of pocket when trying to repair the cars themselves with the business refusing to permit them to reject the vehicle and cancel the agreement. Complaints included aggressive behaviour and customers even having deposits retained if they refused to buy the advertised car.
Majad Hussain was sentenced to 48 months imprisonment. His Honour Judge Daly expressed the view that Mr Hussain played a leading role, some of the vehicles sold were defective and some were dangerous, individuals lost money and were treated with contempt and threats when they complained.
Serious case of fraud
Cllr Iain McCracken, chairman of the joint public protection committee, said “This was a serious case of fraud as reflected in the four year sentence handed down to Mr Hussain. It is hoped it will send a clear message to anyone thinking of going down the same route to think again. The Public Protection Partnership will investigate and where appropriate prosecution will follow. I would like to acknowledge the painstaking work of the trading standards team, PPP Joint Case Management Unit and West Berkshire Legal Team in bringing this matter to a conclusion.”
Public Protection Partnership
The Public Protection Partnership is a shared service of Wokingham Borough Council, Bracknell Forest Council, and West Berkshire Council and delivers trading standards, environmental health and licensing functions.