A fraudulent mechanic who ripped off customers through eBay by a total of £30,000 has been sentenced to 200 hours’ community service.
Simon Bond, 32, of High Street, Chatteris, would advertise car parts and garage services via online adverts and through eBay. But when customers used his services, he would start demanding extra cash for other jobs he claimed needed carrying out.
One customer, from Northampton, handed over £1,300 and his Mistubishi Warrior for repairs in April 2012, but had still not had it returned eight months later.
Another customer, from North Wales, called police in January 2013 after Bond had failed to return his Land Rover Discovery taken in for repair in November 2012.
Both vehicles, along with a stolen van, were discovered by police at Bond’s site in St Mary’s Road, Ramsey, on January 12, 2013.
Bond was arrested on suspicion of fraud in February last year. After his arrest police and Trading Standards traced a further 10 potential victims. Bond was charged with two counts of theft of motor vehicle and 12 counts of fraud.
He admitted eight fraud by false representation charges and one theft of a motor vehicle. He also asked for three other offences to be taken into consideration at Peterborough Crown Court.
On Thursday he was sentenced to 12 months, suspended for two years and given a two-year supervision order and thinking skills programme. He was also ordered to carry out 200 hours’ unpaid work and tagged with a curfew from 9pm to 6am for two months.
Det Con Mark Yendley said: “Bond fished for potential victims by putting adverts online.
“Once he had their vehicles for repair, he would effectively hold them to ransom, asking for more money, often for fictitious work.
“People like him give the industry a bad name and we will continue working with Trading Standards to bring such fraudsters to justice.”