Trader told to repay £25,000 after he ‘clocked’ vans

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Five vehicle owners are to receive compensation after they bought “clocked” vehicles from a rogue motor trader from York.

Albert Andrew Buck, 42, of Stephenson Close, Huntington, York, was ordered to repay £25,205, after a confiscation hearing under the Proceeds of Crime Act at York Crown Court.

Of this £9,705, will be shared between five customers who bought vehicles from him. A sixth customer has already been repaid.

Det Sgt Dave Edwards of North Yorkshire Police’s financial investigation unit, said afterwards: “It’s very satisfying that the victims in this case will be compensated after being duped by Buck.

“The case sends a strong message to anyone contemplating such a scam, that both the police and trading standards officers have the power and expertise to uncover and unravel financial wrongdoing.

“The Proceeds of Crime Act gives us the power to hit criminals were it hurts and, in this case, compensate the unwitting victims of such criminality.”

The court found that Buck had benefited from his crimes to the value of £43,162.50 and, based on his realisable assets, ordered him to repay £25,205.

Following an investigation by York Trading Standards, on 1 November 2011, Buck pleaded guilty to six charges of fraud by false representation in relation to reducing the mileage of six vehicles which he then sold to customers on the basis of the false mileage.

The vehicles included five Volkswagen Transporter vans and a Volkswagen panel van.

Each victim who purchased the clocked vehicles will receive compensation amounts of between £670 and £2,605. The victims who purchased the vans were from Huddersfield, Whitby, Northampton, Ripon and Sheffield.

The confiscation order was applied for by North Yorkshire Police’s Financial Investigation Unit and successfully granted at York Crown Court on Thursday.

If Buck fails to pay the amount within six months, he will be jailed for 14 months and will still have to repay the money.

Coun Linsay Cunningham-Cross, York Council’s cabinet member for crime and stronger communities, said the verdict that ensures Buck “is no longer in profit from his crimes” was to be welcomed.

“He ripped off small business people in tough economic times which is totally unacceptable,” she added.

“Thanks to reports from and the co-operation of members of the public, the council and North Yorkshire Police were able to bring him to justice and those who lost out due to his unscrupulous actions have been ordered compensation.”

She said the authority had dedicated financial investigators, who work with the police and other partners, where possible to recover the proceeds of crime and ensure York is “a place where crime simply does not pay”.