A MOTOR dealer who knocked more than 1.5million miles off the clocks of used cars in East Lancashire has been ordered to pay back £200,000.
Haroon Chaudrey, 45, made £250,000 from the scam in which he sold the cars on to unwitting buyers through the trade press and Autotrader websites.
Chaudrey, of Montague Street, Brierfield, admitted being involved in clocking 14 cars, knocking an average of 90,000 miles off the odometer readings between March 2011 and April 2014.
In one case, Chaudrey turned the clock back on a VW Passat from 261,500 to just 103,100 miles, more than halving the reading on the vehicle.
He later confessed to accepting another car for trade, having been warned the mileage reading may not be accurate.
In August 2015, the wheeler dealer was handed an eight month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months after pleading guilty to knowingly operating a second-hand motor vehicle business for a fraudulent purpose at Burnley Crown Court.
The court heard Chaudrey bought 12 of the vehicles at the British Car Auctions before winding back the clock to reduce the mileage before selling them on.
John Woodward, prosecuting, said: “The average mileage reduction was in the region of 90,000, but many cars saw six-figure reductions.
“In all, the Crown calculates that just under 1.5 million miles were wiped from the odometers of these cars during the 37 months covered by the charge.”
Trading Standards officials from Lancashire County Council carried out a detailed probe into MOT records, sales documents and paperwork and discovered irregularities in the vehicles registered mileages.
A proceeds of crime hearing at Preston Crown Court heard Chaudry benefited to the tune of £250,000 from the scam, but had just £187,515 in realisable assets.
Judge Graham Knowles ruled Chaudry must hand over his full assets along with £12,485 court costs, and must pay the full sum of £200,000 or go to prison for two years.
Nick McNamara, from Lancashire Trading Standards, said: "This outcome proves that, sooner or later, criminals can expect to pay for their crimes.
“It's taken us five years to get this point but Lancashire Trading Standards can confidently say that Chaudrey has now been stripped of every last penny of his ill-gotten gains."