30th March 2024

Car dealer jailed for multiple frauds

A used car dealer who ripped off and endangered his customers has been sentenced to four years in jail.

By JTS Staff
Journal of Trading Standards' in-house team

A used car dealer who sold ‘deathtraps’ to his customers and committed multiple frauds has been jailed for four years following an investigation by Stockton-on-Tees Trading Standards and Cleveland Police.

Simon Retallick (43) of Fulthorpe Road, Norton, took money via bank transfer for vehicles which he had advertised online during the 2020 covid lockdown, and then failed to deliver them.

Simon Retallick (image credit: Cleveland Police)

He also sold dangerous vehicles, which prosecutor Anthony Pettengell said “were riddled with major faults” and didn’t have any MOT certificates.

It is estimated that Retallick made more than £100,000 from his crimes.

Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council brought 40 criminal charges against Retallick following a Trading Standards investigation, while more than 17 offences were charged by Cleveland Police.

Cleveland Police Officer DC Dimelow said: “Simon Retallick is a serial fraudster who targeted and took advantage of victims across the UK. This investigation has been particularly challenging and complex due to multiple victims around the country, and it has taken almost a year to work through the high volume of evidence to ensure Retallick was charged.

“Evidence included working through text messages, phone calls, eBay messages, bank statements and anything else which involved communication between the victims and Retallick. This amounted to 20 case files of evidence.

DI Kirtley, also of CLeveland Police, commented: “The officer investigating this case has done a fantastic job and dedicated a huge amount of time to ensure Retallick would be brought to justice.

“Trading Standards also brought 40 criminal charges against Retallick alongside the charges that police and the CPS brought. I would like to take this opportunity to thank our colleagues from Trading Standards for their professionalism and help throughout this investigation.

“Retallick has caused nothing but misery to many victims and his actions have had a detrimental impact on their personal relationships, businesses, and financial situations.

“He has shown zero remorse for the crimes he has committed and given no mitigation for his actions, but thankfully he has now been brought to justice and will now how have plenty of time to think about his crimes in prison.”

As well as being sentenced to four years imprisonment on 25 March at Teesside Crown Court, Retallick was also served with a Criminal Behaviour Order which bans him from selling vehicles for eight years.

A spokesperson for Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council said: “Mr Retallick’s actions caused a great deal of worry and grief for many of his customers, leaving them out of pocket and without the vehicles they paid for.

“Using lockdown restrictions to his advantage, he deceived his victims for many months. Rightfully he has been punished for that by the courts.

“Mr Retallick’s dishonest way of operating his business is inexcusable and I would like to thank our Trading Standards officers and the Police for their tireless efforts to bring him to justice. I hope this sentence brings some comfort to his victims and sends a clear message that we will not tolerate fraudulent business owners in our Borough.”

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