Financial Crimes Squad detectives have charged a man in relation to the theft of over $500,000 from people with whom he had contracts to sell vehicles on consignment.
It will be alleged between September 2018 and July 2019 the accused had entered into consignment contracts with 25 caravan owners. During that period the caravans were sold, and instead of the funds being transferred into trust accounts, as required under the Motor Vehicle Dealers Act (1973), it will be further alleged the accused deposited the funds in his main trading account and failed to deposit the funds into the relevant trust account.
It will be further alleged the accused failed to compensate the sellers of the caravans as per their contractual agreement. The caravans sold for more than $650,000, of which approximately $550,000 should have been deposited into the trust accounts and subsequently paid to the original owners. Some of the owners were able to recoup some of their lost funds by taking ownership of other caravans held by the accused, however most did not receive any compensation at all.
A 69-year-old man from High Wycombe has been charged with 25 counts of ‘Stealing by Agents – Money Received by Direction’. He is due to appear in the Midland Magistrates Court on Friday 18 October 2019.
Detective Senior Sergeant Ken FOSTER, Officer in Charge of the Financial Crimes Squad, said only one of the victims was fully compensated for the loss of funds.
“One victim was able to recoup their funds fully be selling a substitute caravan provided by the accused. The other victims were not as fortunate, with final losses incurred ranging from $6,000 to $40,000.
“While attempts were made by the accused to compensate some of the victims, the laws regarding trust accounts are in place for a reason, and any operations outside of those laws is a criminal offence.”