Wakefield software consultant sold company car to pay off gambling debts
Adnan Afzal, 34, was given a Mercedes C-Class while working for Stroma in Wakefield, the Leeds court reported this week.
Prosecutor Joseph Bell said in March 2019 that Afzal asked the company’s fleet manager for the car’s logbook so he could apply for a parking permit.
Two days later, Afzal contacted a car dealership about a black Audi he had seen for sale online.
After Afzal went to see the Audi, he offered to exchange parts for his Mercedes. The car salesman checked the Mercedes and found no outstanding financing.
He made the swap deal, with the car seller also transferring an additional Â£ 5,200 to Afzal.
Afzal then sent him the logbook.
Only a few days after the transaction, the seller was informed by the DVLA that the contact details of the keeper of the Mercedes had been changed, which concerned him.
When a Stroma official called his Afzal about the Mercedes, he told him he was in the hospital and the car was parked outside. However, he was actually in Dublin with his partner.
Meanwhile, the car dealer successfully sold the Mercedes, but learned from the buyer two days later that it had been seized by police.
Shocked, he offered to reimburse her for the Â£ 11,000 she paid to save her reputation.
Afzal was questioned by the police and he admitted his crimes, saying he needed the money to pay off his gambling debts.
The court heard that Afzal had been prosecuted by the Bedfordshire Magistrates’ Court on a charge of theft and fraud for selling another car in similar circumstances.
For this, he was sentenced to 10 months in prison, suspended for 12 months and 150 hours of unpaid work.
In his last appearance at Leeds Crown Court, no attenuation for Afzal was offered by his lawyer.
Afzal, of Mayhew Crescent, High Wycombe, Bucklinghamshire, admitted a charge of theft and fraud.
Judge Robin Mairs handed him another 10-month prison sentence, suspended for 24 months.
He said: “There was an element of certainty that he would come back to your door, but your desperation was such that you were willing to take the risk.”