Mr Busharat Rana Ali who traded from a site on Ingleside Road, Bristol pleaded guilty to six fraud offences following a long and complex investigation by Bristol Trading Standards.
Mr Ali was discovered to have used many different trading names to avoid having to refund his customers, after he repeatedly lied to them about the availability and quality of the cars he sold. He also made false promises about providing a money back guarantee.
Alongside his suspended sentence, Mr Ali was also sentenced to 150 hours unpaid work and a 10 day rehabilitation course. In addition he was ordered to pay compensation to his victims of £1,150.
The investigation was launched following numerous complaints received by Bristol Trading Standards.
Councillor Kye Dudd, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Trading Standards, said: “The investigation into the activities of Mr Ali revealed his dishonesty and a disregard for the rights of his customers.
“This is not the way to run a successful business, and here in Bristol we want legitimate business to thrive and everyone in the city to prosper from a fair and safe trading environment.
“It has been a lengthy investigation with numerous victims helping us to bring Mr Ali in front of the courts. We will not hesitate to take action against business in this way again and would urge the public to contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Service if they have suffered any loss at the hands of a fraudulent car dealer.”
This is the first time Bristol’s Trading Standards team have used the Fraud Act to tackle a used car business that has received high levels of complaints.
Nearly one in every four complaints received by Bristol Trading Standards relates to used car sales where businesses are targeting consumers who often are least able to afford the loss suffered.
To report an issue with a used car dealer, contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506 or visit www. citizensadvice.org.uk