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Dodgy dealer conned bank and customers out of £120K
8:00am Thursday 5th July 2012 in News
A CAR dealer swindled customers and his bank out of £120,000.
Kevin Chapman, 41, of Woden Avenue, Stanway, borrowed money to buy cars for his dealership, County Cars, in Halstead Road, Eight Ash Green.
He failed to pay it back, but his customers, who had signed finance agreements with him for his cars, ended up being chased by the banks for the unpaid money.
Sharon Hall, prosecuting, said Chapman would buy cars and put them on to the stock list.
The bank gave him the money, which he was supposed to repay.
Chapman admitted three counts of fraud by false representation at Colchester Magistrates’ Court yesterday.
He asked for a further nine counts of fraud to be taken into account.
The court heard the amount of money owed to the bank was £120,000.
Chapman was bailed to appear at Chelmsford Crown Court on August 16, when he will be sentenced.
The maximum sentence for each count of fraud is seven years, according to the Crown Prosecution Service.
Speaking after the hearing, Chapman said: “I have pleaded guilty. I have got a failed business. We will just have to see what happens now.”
Kate and Paul Cox, of Caracella Way, Colchester, were left with bills of £1,000 a month, after they traded in two cars to Chapman’s County Cars and bought a third last year.
At one point, they feared losing their house, because they were left paying finance on all three vehicles.
Mrs Cox e-mailed Chapman and said he had told her he had taken the action after someone took money out of his business.
Mrs Cox said she had not been given an apology.
She said: “After what he put us through, I’m pleased he admitted it and I hope he realises what he has done. It didn’t just affect us financially, it was so stressful. I’m so pleased he was caught.”
The couple were eventually told they no longer owed the money, after a finance company came to their rescue and explained a law which meant they were not liable. Chapman pulled the plug on the business, which specialised in BMWs, Mercedes and Audis, last year.
The business operating from the former County Cars site has no connection to Chapman.