Fake car servicing scam disclosed

Monday December 28th 2015

Midlothian Council’s Trading Standards team would like to hear from anyone who may have been caught up in a fake car servicing scam that resulted in a Midlothian man being sentenced to more than 200 hours of unpaid work in the community.

Forty-four-year-old Justin Brown, from Newtongrange, appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court earlier this month and pled guilty to making and selling, through several eBay accounts, fake car servicing stamps, contrary to the Trade Marks Act 1994.

Brown sold the stamps to many individuals and businesses who used them to falsely claim that the cars they sold had full service histories. The servicing stamps were for all makes, from Alfa Romeo to Yamaha, and included several dealerships, but no Midlothian businesses bought these stamps.

Midlothian Council’s Trading Standards’ intensive investigation began two years ago after executing a search warrant at Brown’s home. The Sheriff has now ordered Brown to undertake 225 hours unpaid work in the community.

The Sheriff told Brown that he had caused many people to be defrauded into paying more for their cars. He is set to appear in court again on 3 March to learn how much he will be required to pay as part of a Proceeds of Crime investigation.

Trading Standards are aware that Brown also sold many cars from his home address and they wish to talk to anyone who may have been affected. A spokesman for the department said: “We know that Justin Brown sold many cars and would like to hear from anyone who bought one from him.” For anyone who has any concerns, please contact Trading Standards on 0131 271 3549 or e-mail TradingStandards@midlothian.gov.uk

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