A WIGAN man has been convicted of running a scam selling dodgy cars on ebay.
Dean Rosenthal, who blamed the act of “cutting and pasting” his adverts for giving false information, will be sentenced later this month for selling unroadworthy vehicles.
Rosenthal, of Castle Hill Rise, Hindley, admitted five charges of engaging in commercial activity which was misleading under the Unfair Trading Regulations when he appeared at Wigan Magistrates’ Court.
Alison Henderson, prosecuting on behalf of Wigan Council’s Trading Standards, told magistrates that two customers had complained the 51-year-old had sold Mitsubishi Delicas under false pretences and they were both deemed too dangerous to drive after failing MOTs.
The first complainant was Nick Scally, who had flown from Inverness to pick up the £2,995 car after seeing an ebay advert on November 27 last year.
But he selected another Mitsubishi Delica to what was advertised and drove 40 miles before the engine overheated and the oil had run out as the coolant pipe was not fixed properly. The electrics on the dashboard were also not working.
He also realised there was only three months left on its MOT, rather than 12 months as advertised.
It was also later revealed that the car had seven previous owners, and not three as stated.
He scheduled the car for its MOT a few days later and it had failed on 20 points, including two dangerous faults.
When Mr Scally contacted Rosenthal, he agreed to give him his money back if he returned the car, but as the car was unroadworthy, it was stuck in Inverness, leaving him out of pocket.
The court charges relate to misrepresentation of the car being in “excellent condition,” having a “final under seal” and an “MOT until November 2015” and being “sold as seen.”
Similarly, on February 24, Steven Walker had exchanged his 2002 Golf GTI and paid £900 cash for a Mitsubishi Delica.
Rosenthal drove the car down to his home in Shrewsbury and they swapped cars,
He then drove back to Hindley in the Golf GTI but had mistakenly taken Mr Walker’s cheque book and other important documents.
Mr Walker was then unable to start the car and had to call the recovery services who found a cable was not attached to the starter motor and the brakes were not working.
The car failed its MOT and Mr Walker was unable to get hold of Rosenthal. When he eventually did reach him, Rosenthal said he could not given him his Golf GTI back, but he offered second hand parts to fix the car,
He also failed to return Mr Walker’s cheque book and documents.
Ms Henderson said: “The cars, which were described as being in ‘excellent condition’ were unroadworthy.
“Rosenthal failed to attend court on previous occasions despite repeated requests.
“Mr Scally took him to a small claims court and was successful and Rosenthal was made bankrupt in May.”
Defending himself, Rosenthal said: “I had no intentions of defrauding or misleading anybody. I sell a lot of Mitsubishi Delicas and I put the correct MOT on an advert and copy and pasted it for another advert. There is a lot to change and that got missed.
“Mr Scally actually chose another car to the advert and I felt under pressure. At the last MOT it had no advisory notes.
“I offered him the money back if he could bring the car to me, but he said it was my fault and I had to collect it.
“Mr Walker still wanted his car and I offered to pay towards the repair bill.”
Rosenthal, who has previous convictions for a similar offence, was released on conditional bail and will go to Liverpool Crown Court on November 24 following a pre sentence report.
Coun Kevin Anderson, cabinet member for environment, said: “Trading Standards receive a high number of complaints from residents about second hand cars. Whilst they look to work with local car dealers to help ensure that the cars they sell are safe and legal, they will prosecute where they feel it is necessary. The vehicles in this case had sold for a considerable amount of money and yet had a number of major defects. The seriousness of the matter is reflected by the magistrates’ decision to refer the matter to the Crown Court for sentencing.”