Car dealer scams financial company and pockets money

Hamil Dave forged a partner’s signature to obtain financing for the Toyota Estima. Stock Photo / 123RF

A car dealer who defrauded a finance company by claiming he sold a car when he simply pocketed the money has won the right to appeal his conviction.

A jury had previously found him guilty after he sold another dealership’s car to get more than $20,000 from a finance company while bundling a former customer with the refunds.

He had never sold the car though, it sat 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 financing for the Toyota Estima and $20,000 was paid into his company’s bank account the same day. The Auckland car salesman was the only one with access to this account.

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

The former client noticed what was happening and ordered his bank to stop payments.

The car was repossessed – although it never actually left the lot – and police charged Dave with forgery and dishonesty, which he was convicted of in 2020.

In February 2021, Judge Large sentenced Dave to four and a half months house arrest, ordering that a $17,995 compensation be paid to the dealer, Mr. Bandesha, who had in fact purchased the car in the first place.

Dave has now appealed his conviction on the grounds that it is unclear how much Bandesha paid the Japanese supplier for the car in the first place.

In its decision, the Court of Appeal concluded that the evidence supporting the amount of Estima paid in Japanese yen was not clear, but was also not significant.

“There has been a lot of talk before us about a possible discrepancy in the purchase price paid by Mr. Bandesha. This misses the point. For the impact on victims and reparation, what matters is not not what was paid, but what the lost asset was worth.”

The court ordered that Dave and Bandesha be allowed to submit new evidence, but Dave’s appeal against his convictions for forgery and dishonesty would stand.