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Man jailed over $3.2m used-car scam

Used-car dealer Cars Today had been running a scam and defaulted on the repayment of loans, which it had taken to buy the cars. In all, the company cheated 71 buyers, 14 sellers and four finance companies out of a total of $3.16 million in money and cars.

From a Lexus GS300 and a Porsche Boxster to a Geely CK and a Chery QQ, a range of cars paid for by 50 buyers between January 2013 and February 2015 were repossessed by finance companies. Unbeknown to the buyers, the second-hand cars had not been registered under their names.

The buyers and sellers lost at least $1.42 million in total. Unknown to its buyers, the company did not transfer the ownership of cars to them after they had paid for and collected the vehicles.

In some cases, Cars Today would buy a car and sell it, and thereafter apply for a loan under a flooring agreement. It would thus get a loan and transfer the car’s ownership to the finance company, instead of the buyer who had already collected it.

Cars Today also forged documents to mark up the purchase price of cars, deceiving its financiers into giving out larger loans as a result.

Sellers, meanwhile, were cheated into delivering their vehicles to Cars Today, thinking the company would settle their outstanding car loans, but the company failed to do so. After delivering their cars, some sellers still had to pay road tax and insurance premiums because they were still listed as their cars’ registered owners.

The company’s boss will be jailed for 7 years, while his wife and son will be fined $3,000 and $15,000 respectively.

— Source: Straits Times

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