Car showroom conman in £100k fraud to pay back £10
A crooked showroom salesman who cheated people out of around £100,000 by getting them to invest in bogus schemes to deal in traded-in cars has been ordered to pay back just £10.
Adam Lamb – whose victims included customers of Mercedes in Wolverhampton – had even continued with the scam to finance a gambling addiction while he was on bail for stealing from one of his employers, a court had heard.
Lamb, aged 52, was jailed for three years and ten months last year after he admitted theft, nine charges of fraud, and offending during a suspended sentence. A hearing under the Proceeds of Crime Act was adjourned for an investigation into his finances.
At the resumed court case, prosecutor Andrew Wallace said Lamb’s benefit from his offending had been £104,550 – but he had available assets of just £10.
Recorder Jacqueline Carey ordered the £10 to be confiscated as, even by making even such a nominal order, it means more can be confiscated from Lamb if he is later found to have other assets or comes into some money following his release from prison.
During the original hearing prosecutor Rebecca Wade said the frauds began in January 2015 when Lamb was general manager at MotorDepot in Birmingham.
His first victim was a woman who had applied for a job there, and he offered her a chance to invest in a scheme to buy traded-in cars at a low price and then re-sell them.
She gave him a total of £5,000 and received some ‘profit’ before he admitted he had been gambling with it – leaving her £3,250 out of pocket.
“That’s the pattern throughout. He would repay some of the money, but not all,” said Miss Wade.
Lamb, of Trafalgar Way, Lichfield, was sacked in June that year for stealing £31,000 from MotorDepot, and his next victim encountered him when buying a car from Mercedes in Wolverhampton.
Persuaded by Lamb’s sales pitch, he transferred £5,000 in November 2015, and eight weeks later Lamb arrived at his home with a carrier bag containing £6,000 in cash for him.
But that was a ploy to get him to invest more, and after handing over another £15,000 he got back just £1,250.
Another man also invested £5,000 after meeting Lamb at the Mercedes dealership, and got nothing back.
The biggest loss was by a man who invested £62,250 over a six-month period - at first receiving a regular income, before the money dried up, leaving him £44,500 down.
Lamb then moved to Peugeot in Lichfield and Listers Audi in Birmingham where he scammed more customers.
Miss Wade said that altogether Lamb’s victims had lost £99,550 out of the £181,550 they had been persuaded to ‘invest.’
Following his arrest Lamb was granted bail, and got a job selling caravans but continued to con customers out of money, breaching the 15-month suspended sentence imposed at Birmingham Crown Court for his theft from MotorDepot.
Jailing Lamb, Recorder Steven Evans had described him as ‘a polished fraudster.’