A conman from Knowsley has been jailed for clocking nearly 11 million miles on more than 130 vehicles before selling them on for huge profits.
Andrew Lavelle was sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court to 31 months behind bars following a two year investigation by Knowsley Council’s Trading Standards team.
At an earlier hearing, the 35 year old from Knowsley Lane in Huyton pleaded guilty to 30 specimen offences under the Fraud Act 2006.
Although Lavelle pleaded guilty based on making a profit of £75,000 selling clocked vehicles, it is thought the actual profit he made was significantly more.
The Trading Standards investigation began in 2014 when the buyer of an Audi A4 discovered the vehicle had been clocked and advertised by Knowsley Car Sales – under the name Gallagher’s of Liverpool – as having mileage of 79,201 miles rather than the true mileage of 141,864 miles.
Knowsley Trading Standards officers found that Lavelle was the owner and operator of Knowsley Car Sales and had been involved in buying and selling vehicles since 2008 under various trading names, also including Car Switch, Gallagher’s of Liverpool, Prescot Car Superstore, Prescot Car Centre and Car Co.
Knowsley Car Sales was also associated with addresses in Huyton, Prescot and Warrington.
The investigation found that of 286 vehicles purchased at auction by Lavelle between 2008 and 2015, 134 were then clocked with a total of 10,731,176 miles before being advertised for sale.
Knowsley Council’s Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, Cllr Eddie Connor, said:
“This successful prosecution is the result of an excellent and thorough two year investigation by our Trading Standards officers.
“Clocking vehicles is fraud, pure and simple. It cheats unsuspecting people into buying vehicles based on false and misleading information and is completely unacceptable.
“This prosecution makes clear once again that if any trader commits fraudulent activity in Knowsley, our Trading Standards team will investigate and take whatever steps are necessary to protect customers.”