A FRAUDSTER who convinced a man he knew to hand over £12,000 for a car which was never delivered has been jailed.
Irfan Ahmed, 31, pleaded guilty to fraud and money laundering – then fled to Pakistan before he could be sentenced.
Preston Crown Court heard Ahmed met with sports masseuse Daniel Wiltshire to discuss buying a car.
He claimed to have contacts in the motor trade and said he could get a discount in an Audi A5 which was for sale in a showroom in Blackpool.
Mr Wiltshire went to see the car, but on Ahmed’s instructions, did not tell the salesman he was keen to buy it, as Ahmed said he would negotiate a deal.
He then paid £12,000 in two instalments into the bank account of Anthony Walsh, to pay for the vehicle.
When the car failed to materialise, Mr Wiltshire asked for his money back, but Ahmed told him: “It’s on my head. You will get your money back. I’ll take a loan to repay you.”
Mr Wiltshire has never been repaid.
Walsh and another man, Hasan Latif, were sentenced for money laundering in November 2016 and were handed suspended sentences.
But prior to the date of sentence, Ahmed flew to Pakistan to support his pregnant wife, who is not eligible to live in the UK.
He remained there until June when he returned for medical treatment to replace a heart valve.
Judge Ian Leeming, sentencing, said: “Mr Wiltshire never got the car because the sellers had no connection to you. The whole thing was a scam.
“You made various excuses about why the car was not arriving -that it had mechanical problems and other problems.
“In the end he asked for his money back and never received it.
“This has caused him significant financial problems.
“He has lost his capital. He did not lose his part exchange vehicle because he did not have to let go of that, but he has lost interest on his capital.”
Ahmed has a number of previous convictions including crash for cash fraud and possession of false identity documents.
Judge Leeming jailed Ahmed, of Colne Road, Blackburn, for 18 months.