A sales executive stole more than £27,000 through a series of fraudulent transactions while working for a luxury car firm.
Christopher Fogg, 28, carried out the deception over a six-month period while working at the Mecedes dealership, Gelderd Road, Leeds. Leeds Crown Court heard Fogg “skimmed off” money during 14 transactions in order pay off mounting gambling debts.
Simon Haring, prosecuting, told the court how, on one occasion, there was an over payment of £10,000 to a customer who bought a vehicle.
Fogg was able to falsify documents so that some of the overpaid cash was then paid into his bank account. On another occasion Fogg purported to have sold a vehicle for £82,000, despite the customer only paying £70,000 for it. Fogg again managed to divert some of the funds into his own bank account.
The offences took place between May and November 2013. Mr Haring said the total amount illegally obtained by Fogg was £27,541. Fogg was arrested in March last year and admitted the deception. He said he had gambling debts of £10,000 and also needed money to pay for child care.
Fogg, now of Westborough Street, Thornaby, Stockton-on-Tees, pleaded guilty to fraud.
Marcus Waite, mitigating, said Fogg had no previous convictions and had co-operated with police at an early stage. Mr Waite said Fogg had been sacked by Mercedes but has since been offered work by another car sales firm. He added that Fogg had worked in the industry from leaving school. Mr Waite said Fogg had a young daughter, his partner was expecting another child and the conviction had affecton his family badly.
The lawyer added that Fogg and was remorseful for what he had done and had now cleared his gambling debts thanks to help from his parents. Fogg was given a 12-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and ordered to do 18 hours unpaid work. Jailing Fogg, Recorder Jonathan Sandiford said: “You were employed as a sales executive and people trusted you and did not check up on what you were doing.
“This occurred over a period of time so it wasn’t just a one-off. There was a degree of sophistication because you falsified paperwork on at least one occasion.”