A confiscation order has been made against four men, who used sham car engine manufacturing companies to defraud customers.
In total £225,000 will be paid back to 71 victims in compensation.
In April 2017 following trial the four men were convicted of two counts of conspiracy to defraud and sentenced.
At their sentencing hearing on 5 April 2017, Paul Dockerill, aged 52, formerly of Jessamy Road, Weybridge, Surrey, received four-and-a-half years’ imprisonment, his sons Martin Dockerill, aged 30, formerly of Watersmead Close, Guildford, and Harry Dockerill, aged 27, formerly of Wells Road, Guildford, both received prison terms of three and a half years . Jack Dockerill, aged 23, of Gales Close, Guildford, and received two years’ imprisonment suspended for 18 months and was ordered to do 150 hours’ unpaid work.
The companies, First Choice Engines and Exchange Engines, which were operated by the Dockerills on Perth Industrial Estate in Perth Avenue, Slough, purported to offer ‘high quality engine remanufacturing services’. Using the sham companies, the defendants systematically defrauded its customers and used a highly polished website to give customers the impression they were a professional business to gain their trust.
A confiscation investigation concluded at Reading Crown Court on 15 December 2017.
A confiscation order in the sum of £225,000 was granted from which compensation will be repaid to 71 victims, from assets owned by the four defendants. Also, three vehicles were ordered to be forfeited and returned to their lawful owners.
The victims included members of the public from across the country, small businesses and a charity which assists homeless former soldiers.
Detectives at Slough CID launched their investigation, codenamed Operation Component, following more than 500 complaints from customers to Thames Valley Police and Trading Standards.
Accredited Financial Investigator of Thames Valley Police’s Economic Crime Unit, Claire Upton, said: “The men exploited their customers by inflating the charges to repair their vehicles and then intimidated them when customers tried to get their vehicle back.
“Many customers lost their vehicles as they were unable to pay the higher price or were informed their vehicle was beyond economic repair when on three occasions this was false.”