Car dealer who took money from customers but never delivered their vehicles and used lockdown as an excuse is jailed

A car dealer has been jailed for fraud after selling customers cars which were never delivered to them.

Simon Retallick was given a four-year prison sentence at Teesside Crown Court as a result of investigations by both Cleveland Police and Stockton-on-Tees Council’s trading standards team into fraud and perverting the course of justice.

Retallick targeted 37 victims, mainly in 2020 by falsely advertising the sale of vehicles on eBay.

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He would advertise the cars, and because of lockdown, people were not able to view the vehicles in person. He would take money via bank transfer, and then spend months making excuses to victims about why their vehicle hadn’t been delivered.

Simon RetallickSimon Retallick
Simon Retallick

Victims were scammed out of over £100,000 in total and were left with no car.

Each report was logged by the victims with Action Fraud and the Citizens Advice Consumer Service, the reports were then passed over to Cleveland Police and the council’s team respectively for investigation.

Officer in the case DC Dimelow said: “Simon Retallick is a serial fraudster who targeted and took advantage of victims across the UK. This investigation has been particularly challenging and complex due to multiple victims around the country, and it has taken almost a year to work through the high volume of evidence to ensure Retallick was charged.

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“Evidence included working through text messages, phone calls, eBay messages, bank statements and anything else which involved communication between the victims and Retallick. This amounted to 20 case files of evidence.

“Retallick has caused nothing but misery to many victims and his actions have had a detrimental impact on their personal relationships, businesses, and financial situations.

“He has shown zero remorse for the crimes he has committed and given no mitigation for his actions, but thankfully he has now been brought to justice and will now how have plenty of time to think about his crimes in prison.”

Retallick was also served with a Criminal Behaviour Order which bans him from selling vehicles for eight years.

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A spokesperson for Stockton-on-Tees Council said: “Retallick’s actions caused a great deal of worry and grief for his customers, leaving them out of pocket.

“Using lockdown restrictions to his advantage, he deceived his victims for many months.