A DODGY car dealer who issued fake service stamps and sold unsafe cars has been found guilty of 16 cases of fraud.

Carl Wareham of Connaught Close, Yateley was investigated by trading standards officers from the Public Protection Partnership (PPP) after multiple customers complained about their cars not working after buying them.

Wareham was trading as Maxus Automotive/Car Nation on Forest Road, Warfield, Bracknell and was sentenced to 21 months imprisonment and suspended for 18 months at Reading Crown Court.

A resident reported the car dealer in June 2017 after discovering they had immediate problems with the car they had been sold to by Wareham.

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The customer was refused a refund and the cars service book was found to have two fake service stamps.

Further complains led to a warrant being carried out at the site on Forest Road and more altered service books were found with warranties that were paid for by customers, but were never registered.

One car was advertised with a six months warranty cover and a full service history, only to be found with seven fake stamps in its service book and no warranty.

Councillor John Harrison, executive member for culture, delivery and public protection and member of the Joint Public Protection Committee, said: “This was a serious case of dishonesty. Consumers have every right when buying cars and other goods to expect traders to be honest in their dealings.

"In this case there was serial fraudulent offending, as well as offending relating to six unsafe vehicles, which was of particular concern."

The case was prosecuted by Bracknell Forest Council through the PPP joint case management unit. Following a two week trial, the 63-year-old was found guilty of 16 counts of fraud contrary to the Fraud Act 2006 and one count relating to the supply of unsafe vehicles.

Wareham was acquitted for a further three fraud charges.

Cllr Harrison added: “Investigation and prosecution of cases of this type are by their nature complex.

"In this case the painstaking work conducted by trading standards and the case management unit have brought about an important conviction that I hope will send a clear message to anyone thinking of defrauding their customers.

"To this end it is important that consumers raise any concerns about unfair trading with trading standards, and I would always urge them to do so”.