A Peacehaven man who conned residents out of £60,000 has been jailed, police said.
Fahad Javaid, 31, of Foxhill, Peacehaven, appeared at Lewes Crown Court on Tuesday (October 1), and was sentenced to four years and four months imprisonment after pleading guilty to fraud, money laundering and theft, as well as breaching a court-issued Serious Crime Prevention Order granted in 2013 after his conviction for previous fraud offences.
Police said 39 people from all over the UK fell victim to Javaid, who set up the company ‘Express Smart Repairs’ that advertised on website Groupon and Wowcher to carry out scratch and dent repairs to vehicles that would be carried out at customers’ home addresses.
Payment was required up front to secure a mobile mechanic but no mechanic ever arrived and no refunds were ever received.
To help carry out this fraud, Javaid leased a property in Lewes Road, Brighton, from where the frauds were instigated, police said.
This included the sale of storage containers that some customers purchased but that never arrived with them. No refunds were also ever received.
The fraud began to come to police notice when in February 2016, Javaid who had obtained, via a third party, access to a BMW purchased on finance, where repayments were not met, was stopped by officers while driving the car, and the car was repossessed by the finance company.
Detectives became suspicious when they checked and found that Javaid was running the company while already subject of the Serious Crime Prevention Order and was banned from being a company director for ten years, having been sentenced to a total of two and a half years imprisonment at Hove Crown Court on 29 April 2013, after pleading guilty to fraudulent trading, carrying on an ancillary credit business without a consumer credit licence, ten counts of fraud and one count of perverting the course of justice.
Detective Constable Karen Young of West Sussex Investigations said: “This was a complex investigation covering Javaid’s offending from 2015 through to 2019.”