Car dealer defrauds finance company, pockets money – New Zealand Herald

Hamil Dave forged an associate’s signature to obtain the finance for the Toyota Estima. Stock Image / 123RF

A car dealer who defrauded a finance company by pretending he’d sold a car when he’d simply pocketed the money has won the right to appeal against his sentence.

A jury had already found him guilty after he sold another dealer’s car to obtain over $20,000 from a finance company while he lumped a former customer with the repayments.

He’d never sold the car though, it remained on the lot until it was repossessed and sold for a quarter of what it was worth.

Hamil Dave forged an associate’s signature to obtain the finance for the Toyota Estima and $20,000 was paid to his company’s bank account the same day. The Auckland car salesman was the only one with access to that account.

In order to make the repayments Dave signed up one of his former customers, using their bank account details to provide to the finance company.

The former customer noticed what was happening and ordered his bank to halt the payments.

The car was repossessed – though it had never actually moved from the lot – and police charged Dave with forgery and dishonesty, which he was found guilty of in 2020.

In February 2021, Judge Large sentenced Dave to four and a half months’ home detention ordered reparation of $17,995 be paid to the dealer, Mr Bandesha, who’d actually bought the car in the first place.

Dave has now appealed against his sentence on the basis that it’s unclear how much Bandesha paid the Japanese supplier for the car in the first place.

In its decision the Court of Appeal found that the evidence to support how much the Estima had been paid for in Japanese yen wasn’t clear, but also wasn’t significant.

“Much was made before us of a possible discrepancy as to the purchase price paid by Mr Bandesha. That misses the point. For victim impact, and reparation, what matters is not what was paid, but what the lost asset was worth.”

The court ordered that Dave and Bandesha would be allowed to submit fresh evidence but Dave’s appeal against his forgery and dishonesty convictions would remain.

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