Members of a Birmingham family were sentenced to a total of 12 years and nine months imprisonment for ‘clocking’ around 4 million miles off vehicles in a professional car clocking operation at Birmingham Crown Court today (17 July 2015).
Waseem Hussain, 27, of Mary Road, Stechford, and his uncle Shahid Mahmood, 44, of Heather Road, Small Heath, were found guilty of conspiring to commit fraud by selling or trying to sell cars with false mileages, commonly known as ‘car clocking’, on 10 June 2014. They were each sentenced to 18 months imprisonment.
Waseem’s father Abid Hussain, 54, and his other son Nadeem Abid Hussain, 29, both of Mary Road, Stechford, who pleaded guilty to the same charges at an earlier hearing, were sentenced to 61 months and 56 months imprisonment respectively.
Birmingham City Council brought the case after receiving numerous complaints from consumers across the Midlands who had bought vehicles from the defendants, which had their mileages lowered – in some cases by as much as 125,000 miles – between 2007 and 2011.
This is believed to be the biggest investigation into car clocking that Birmingham Trading Standards has carried out.
The estimated value of the car sales is £600,000 – with the defendants thought to have profited by around £174,000.
Close monitoring of Auto Trader’s website revealed the defendants advertised seemingly low mileage cars using several trade names – Universal Cars, Trade Cars, Premier Cars and Bargain Cars.
On 17 May 2011, Birmingham Trading Standards executed a number of warrants at addresses across the city, after officers arranged to buy a used Audi A8 advertised by Bargain Cars with 125,000 miles on the clock – but checks revealed it had done more than 250,000 miles.
Officers seized dozens of documents from four addresses across Birmingham, including invoices, log books, MOT certificates and falsified service history papers.
Cllr Barbara Dring, Chair of the city council’s Licensing and Public Protection Committee, said: “These sentences make it clear we do not tolerate criminal activity in our city. Car clocking is a serious criminal activity that can affect anyone who buys a used car, especially as mileage is a major selling point in the second-hand market.
“People are entitled to honesty when buying vehicles, but approximately 4 million miles were dishonestly taken off odometers in cars sold by this family – which is almost ten times’ the distance to the moon and back – in order to push up the prices of these vehicles.
“When consumers unwittingly buy a ‘clocked’ vehicle not only is the mileage wrong but it is misrepresented, and as such could also have major mechanical problems that could put passengers’ safety at risk and lead to expensive repair bills. Consumers are advised to check a vehicle’s history before buying a used car, to avoid becoming a victim of fraud.”
NOTE: The jury were discharged in determining the case against Rashid Mahmood, 41, of Heather Road, Small Heath, due to ill health grounds last year. He had pleaded not guilty and his trial will take place later this year.
Media contact: Emma Brady, Press and PR Officer, on 0121 303 6969 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to editors:
For more information about what to look for when buying your first car, visit the Birmingham Trading Standards webpage.