- Car trader sentenced after pleading to selling 46 clocked cars worth £350,000
- Fraudster made an average of £4,000 to £5,000 profit per car selling makes including BMW, Volkswagen and Lexus.
- Crimes were uncovered and prosecution brought by Kensington and Chelsea Council trading standards following an investigation that was supported by the National Trading Standards Tri-Region Investigation Team.
Iman Behroozi Garaei (34) of Comber Close, London, has been prosecuted for selling over 46 clocked cars worth over £350,000 including BMWs, Audis, Volkswagens, Mercedes, Volvo and Lexus. He was sentenced to two years imprisonment, suspended for two years, a 12 month community requirement of 100 hours of unpaid work and 15 days rehabilitation activity requirement at Southwark Crown Court following an investigation by Kensington and Chelsea Council with the support of officers from the National Trading Standards Tri-Region Investigation Team.
Mr Garaei bought cars from British Car Auction and clocked them before selling them via AutoTrader and Copart Auctions. By showing a reduced mileage he made an average estimated profit of around £4,000 to £5,000 per car.
Trading standards officers launched an investigation after receiving a complaint from a Kensington and Chelsea resident who bought a BMW 330D in May 2017 with a supposed mileage of 35,000. When the owner tried to sell the car, he found recordings of a previous mileage of 93,000 and a valuation he had received for his vehicle dropped from £13,000 to £8,000.
Cllr Josh Rendall, Lead member for local economy and employment, said:
“Illegal trading has no place in our borough. Car clocking is a manipulative way of misleading customers with false claims leaving them frustrated, out of pocket and potentially even in danger.
“This prosecution is a good result for our trading standards officers and tri-regions investigations team, who work hard to protect genuine customers.
“We won’t stop taking action to tackle fraudsters and make our borough fairer for our residents.”
Trish Burls, Chair of the National Trading Standards Tri-Region Investigation Team, said:
“This case has been another successful collaboration between the Tri Region Investigation Team and Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Trading Standards officers in tackling serious fraud and scams directed at consumers.
“The defendants were buying high mileage cars from car auctions, misrepresenting the mileages, and then selling them to unsuspecting consumers, making a significant profit in the process. The practice of altering vehicle mileages (car clocking) is illegal and could lead to mechanical issues which risk passengers’ lives.
“We know that criminals have no respect for local authority borders, but this case sends a strong message to others engaged in these illegal activities that we are working together to successfully prosecute offenders.
Mr Garaei used false names to run his car-clocking enterprise and upon investigation it was found that he was buying and selling cars for many years. He destroyed genuine service history documents and created false MOT documents which shows the extent of his planned fraudulent activity.
In 2018 officers identified an Audi A4 at the defendant’s property that was being advertised on Auto Trader for £13,950 with a mileage of 28,450 miles. Officers discovered that it had been sold two months previously by British Car Auctions for £8,000 with a recorded mileage of 108,401 miles.
To report a crime to trading standards contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Notes to Editors
- 1.Mr Garaei entered guilty plea in July 2021 at Southwark Crown Court, but his plea was rejected, and a Newton Hearing was scheduled but was later proved not necessary as the defendant accepted the charges against him.
- 2.Clocking is an act of reducing the number of miles covered by a vehicle, which involves giving a false mileage reading on the odometer, thereby increasing its value, and asking price.
- 3.The Tri-Regions Investigation Team, covering London, the South East and East of England regions supports large, cross borough investigations and is funded by National Trading Standards
About National Trading Standards
National Trading Standards delivers national and regional consumer protection enforcement. Its Board is made up of senior and experienced heads of local government trading standards from around England and Wales with an independent.