Salesman fined for 'clocking' car before selling it on
A FORMER car salesman has been convicted and fined €1,200 for "clocking" a second-hand car and then sending it for an NCT test before selling it on to a customer.
The female customer paid €4,000 for the 2004 Seat Ibiza on August 1, 2009.
But she was alerted to the low mileage displayed on the clock after meeting its previous owner and a complaint was made to the National Consumer Agency (NCA).
The consumer watchdog had the car examined and brought the prosecution against Polish national, Oleksandr Tabachuk (33).
He had worked at Sasha Auto Sales and Repair, Ballybane Industrial Estate, Tuam Road, Galway.
Tabachuk pleaded guilty before Galway District Court last December to engaging in a misleading commercial practice on August 1, 2009, by selling the 'clocked' car to a consumer.
He also pleaded guilty to providing misleading information to the NCT authorities regarding the car's mileage record in order to obtain an NCT certificate before selling the car on.
State solicitor Willie Kennedy who prosecuted the case on behalf of the NCA, said the State was only proceeding on one of the summons yesterday.
He explained that Tabachuk had bought the car and 'wound' the clock back by 15,000 to 20,000 miles.
The car was then sent for an NCT displaying the much lower mileage and, therefore, false information had been given to the NCT authorities about its mileage record, he said.
The matter was adjourned to yesterday to give Tabachuk time to repay the €4,000, which he has done to the NCA.
Mr Kennedy said the maximum penalty for the offence was €3,000 or six months in prison, or both.
He sought an order from the court yesterday to have the money released from the NCA to the customer.
Judge Mary Fahy said that as the accused had no previous convictions she would not impose a sentence but she added that this was a serious offence which merited a large fine.
Defence solicitor Benen Fahy said his client had not sold a car since December 2009.
Judge Fahy convicted and fined Tabachuk €1,200 and ordered that the €4,000 be returned to the customer.