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.

Richard Strawson from East Sussex Trading Standards with the car parts

Richard Strawson from East Sussex Trading Standards with the car parts

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.

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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’.

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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.