Bogus Hailsham motor dealer made to pay back £100,000
A bogus motor parts trader from Hailsham has been ordered to pay back more than £100,000 of his ill-gotten gains.
Istvan Lorincz used his criminal activity to fund overseas trips, a flat in Budapest, a car and more than £30,000 in bank transactions made to ‘my darling wife’ – according to East Sussex Trading Standards.
In a hearing at Hove Crown Court, the 44-year-old was ordered under the Proceeds of Crime Act to pay back the cash within three months or go to jail for 12 months.
Lorincz, of George Street, is currently serving a suspended prison sentence issued in May after admitting passing off cheap motor parts as well-known brands and selling them online.
Richard Strawson, East Sussex County Council team manager for Trading Standards, said, “This individual enjoyed a comfortable lifestyle by exploiting members of the public.
“He not only tricked people into paying for inferior goods, his actions also had a detrimental effect on genuine traders and the manufacturers whose products he claimed to be selling.
“This ruling should send out a clear message that offenders will not only receive a criminal conviction but will also have to pay back the cash they earned by breaking the law.”
The court heard Lorincz had benefited to the tune of £102,492.93 from his criminal lifestyle, some of which he used to make bank transfers of over £30,000 to his partner with the description ‘my darling wife’.
He also gifted more than £8,500 towards a Mazda 3 car and spent more than £5,000 on foreign travel and almost £1,200 in household items.
The investigation found Lorincz had assets including more than £40,000 in four bank accounts in the UK and Hungary and a one-bedroom apartment in Budapest valued at almost £65,000.
In May, he was handed a four-month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, and ordered to carry out 125 hours of unpaid work after admitting 25 breaches of the Trade Marks Act 1994.
Almost £40,000 worth of motor parts was found at his home, to which he had affixed home-printed labels to pass them off as superior branded products.