Fraudulent classic car dealer has time added to sentence

First published in News

A CLASSIC car dealer already serving two years for fraudulent trading has had time added to his sentence and been banned from running a company in future.

Anthony Pullen set up Wych Marques at Crown Farm, Wychbold, near Droitwich Spa, to deal in prestige cars. But the business was under-funded and was never going to work, Scott Coughtrie, prosecuting, told Worcester Crown Court.

The intention was to set up a showroom through which he would sell other people's cars but it appeared to have no capital whatsoever and was not viable, Mr Coughtrie said. He could not pay creditors and he could not pay people whose cars he was selling.

The transactions totalled over £90,000 over a period of 14 months between November, 2009 and September 2011. In one example, he said, Pullen took on the sale of a vintage Porsche which went for £26,500 but he told the original owner there was no buyer. Shortly before this, Pullen had an overdraft of £25,000. The new owner did not take the car away but left it with him to sell again with the intention of making another profit. Finally, the original owner took it back and sold it himself at auction.

The 45-year-old admitted fraudulent trading over the period and a charge of forgery in 2011 to get £36,733 to buy a Porsche. He also admitted other charges including the sale of a BMW for £8,500 and selling an Audi and a Mazda without settling the outstanding finance.

Brett Wilson, defending, said there was a relationship of trust between the owners and Pullen but they were engaged in the business of selling cars and were not vulnerable victims.

He said Pullen had twenty years in the motor trade. His business spiralled out of control and rather than wind it up, he tried to keep it going.

"He was robbing Peter to pay Paul and ended up robbing nearly everyone," he said.

Pullen, of Stratford Gardens, Bromsgrove, was now bankrupt but he had the offer of a job on his release from prison and had offered to pay back the money. A proceeds of crime hearing has been set for September.

Judge Daniel Pearce-Higgins gave Pullen a sentence of two-and-a-half years concurrent on each charge to run simultaneously with the two years he is already serving after being sentenced in February on similar charges.

He said Pullen's company had "little prospect of success" when he set it up and the fraud started soon after.

Pullen should “never again be allowed to engage in managing or controlling a company”, he said.

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