A dodgy trader who sold cars with fiddled mileages and then threatened customers who asked for refunds has been handed a court bill of more than £3,000.
Pritpal Virdee bought cars from a licensed dealer in Cannock and sold them on eBay knowing their clocks had been tampered with, a court heard.
He swore at one customer who noticed a fault and tried to return her vehicle, shouting at her to leave his property, Cannock Magistrates Court was told yesterday.
Another customer who wanted a refund received a text reading: “Trust me, it will not be a good outcome for you.”
Khalid Mamood, prosecuting, said: “One of the customers drove the car home and found problems with the gearbox, thinking it was just a problem with her not being used to driving with six gears. She took it to the garage and ended up having to pay £1,720 to fix the car. The defendant said he had checked the car and it was no longer his problem.”
Mr Mamood added: “Most people, when they purchase a car, will look at the mileage. If the mileage had been accurate the purchase would not have been made.”
Virdee, aged 35, of Penn Road, Wolverhampton, bought the Peugeot 406 and the Renault Megane from Cannock Car Auctions, the court heard. The Peugeot’s displayed mileage was reduced from more than 18,000 miles to 11,400 miles, while the Renault’s was lowered from nearly 166,500 to 89,000.
It was claimed that specialist equipment would have been needed to alter the digital displays.
Virdee denied reducing the mileages but admitted knowing they had been altered before selling the cars on.
Exdol Mitchell, defending, said Virdee had needed to pay off protection money owed to his employer at the time, in return for guarding his family against gangs in Birmingham.
Mr Mitchell added: “He has suffered since this offence with periods of depression and he is medicated for that.”
At an earlier hearing, Virdee pleaded guilty to two charges of fraud by false representation in 2011 and 2012. He was given two community orders to run concurrently for 18 months, with requirements that he must receive 18 months’ supervision and do 300 hours of unpaid work.
He was also ordered to pay £2,863 in compensation, £500 costs and a £60 victim surcharge.