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£150k fine for fraudster previously convicted of selling counterfeit service history books

  • Scammer previously jailed for selling fake car service history books has been fined over £150,000 following Proceeds of Crime investigation

A SCAMMER who was jailed for three years for selling fake car service history books on eBay has been handed a £153,238.80 Confiscation Order following a further financial investigation by Reading Council Trading Standards.

Mohammed Ashfaq Asghar, of Linden Road, Whitley was subject to a complex financial investigation following his conviction for the trademark offences for which he was sentenced to three years imprisonment in 2021.

Mr Asghar was found to be advertising car service history books on eBay, with the additional option of applying dealership stamps on request and creating fake services histories.

When Asghar’s house was raided by Trading Standards in June 2019, around 400 fake service history books of various makes were found, along with 29 fake dealership stamps, generating over £75,000 over an 18-month period, from January 2018 and June 2019.

Following the trial in 2021, a Proceeds of Crime Act Proceedings was launched by Reading Council to recover the financial benefit Mr Asghar received from his crimes.

At a Reading Magistrates court hearing on 11 April 2023, Mr Asghar was ordered to pay a Confiscation Order of £153,238.80.

The Prosecution maintained Mr Asghar had a “criminal lifestyle” and had benefitted from his general criminal conduct over a six-year period.

The order imposed is to be paid within three months, or an additional 18-month imprisonment will be imposed by default, following which the order will still have to be paid.

He was also ordered to pay an additional £22,000 in Prosecution Costs within three months.

Rob Abell, Consumer Protection Group Manager at Reading Borough Council, said:

“This exceptional result follows a comprehensive and determined investigation by our Trading Standards officers. Where possible, they will always work tirelessly to remove the benefit of crime from convicted offenders.

“It is the sort of important work which goes on behind the scenes at the Council, which is often overlooked unless you are unfortunate enough to be directly involved in a scam. This penalty should serve as a warning to anyone else selling counterfeit goods.”