A Birmingham man was jailed for five years and six months years for conspiring to ‘clock’ more than 4 million miles off cars, at Birmingham Crown Court today (9 October 2015).
Rashid Mahmood, 42, of Heather Road, Small Heath, was found guilty of conspiring to commit fraud by selling or trying to sell cars with false mileages, commonly known as ‘car clocking’ on 2 October 2015.
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.
Mahmood’s sentencing comes after four men 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 on 17 July 2015. All five men are members of the same family.
This case was brought after what is believed to be the biggest investigation into car clocking that Birmingham Trading Standards has carried out – the value car sales is estimated as £616,000 returning a profit of about £170,000.
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: “This sentence makes 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.”
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 web page.