The founder of former used car buying business Sell Your Car With Us has been banned from holding a directorship for nine years after conning 48 customers out of over £750,000.
An investigation by The Insolvency Service found that director Steven Edwin Prosser (60), from Broxbourne, Hertfordshire, failed to hand over cash or return vehicles to customers after entering agreements to sell their vehicles.
Agreements entered into by Sell Your Car, which also sold used cars from premises on Hare Street in Buntingford, Hertfordshire, stated that customers would receive payment within 14 days of the sale of their vehicle in return for a commission.
But investigators found at least 48 customers received nothing, resulting in claims of £751,000 at the date of the company’s liquidation in September 2019.
A statement issued by the Insolvency Service said: “While Steven Prosser failed to pass on payments to customers after he sold their cars, he transferred more than £125,000 from Sell Your Car With Us’ account.
“Over £52,000 went direct to the used car salesman, £6,000 to a separate company he was a sole director of, and nearly £67,000 went to third parties connected with Steven Prosser.”
It added: “Steven Prosser sold two of the cars despite knowing the company was insolvent and, on several occasions, either failed to record any of the sales officially in the company’s books and records or retain an invoice or bank receipt after a sale.”
The Insolvency Service said that the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) accepted an undertaking from Prosser after he did not dispute that he failed to ensure Sell Your Car With Us adhered to the terms and conditions contained within its Sale or Return Agreements in respect of sellers’ vehicles.
His disqualification came into effect on August 11.
Prosser is now banned for nine years from acting as a director or directly or indirectly becoming involved, without the permission of the court, in the promotion, formation or management of a company.
Katie Legge, the Insolvency Service’s deputy head of insolvent investigations, said: “Close to 50 people thought they were entering into legitimate agreements to sell their cars through a recognised dealer.
“But Steven Prosser failed to carry out his side of the bargain and sold their cars, while failing to pass on more than £750,000 to his customers.
“Thankfully we were able to uncover Steven Prosser’s misconduct and nine years is a substantial amount of time to be removed from the corporate arena.
“Steven Prosser’s disqualification should serve as a warning that we will bring action against rogue directors who mistakenly believe they can do as they please.”