Fraudster jailed after claiming £25,000 Covid grant for ‘made-up’ dealership

Image: South Wales Police.

Con artist provided fake invoices for cars and a forged lease agreement for premises

A man has been jailed after he lied about running a used car dealership to claim a £25,000 Covid support grant from the government.

Shaun James, from Neath, told authorities he had set up a showroom in February 2020.

The fraudster provided fake invoices for cars and a forged lease agreement for premises in nearby Port Talbot.

Head of planning and public protection at Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council (NPTCBC), Ceri Morris, said: “This sentence should act as a warning to others that those who wilfully attempt to defraud members of the public or the authority will be prosecuted.

“These grants were put in place in order to ensure legitimate business were able to survive at a time of national crisis.

“False claims put extra pressures on those administering these claims prolonging the process for legitimate traders.

“The cost of such claims will be felt by consumers for many years.”

James had previously pleaded guilty to two charges under the Fraud Act 2006.

His Honour Judge Geraint Walters sentenced him to 15 months in prison.

This offending however was committed at a time when he was already subject to a suspended sentence order from March 2019 for previous convictions of dishonest trading.

The Judge also partly activated that suspended sentence and ordered the defendant to serve a further consecutive period of nine months in prison, resulting in a total sentence of 24 months’ immediate custody.

Auto Torque has partnered with Garage Wire to bring you all the latest aftermarket news.

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