A FRAUDSTER used Groupon and Wowcher to swindle £60,000 for car repairs which were never done.

Fahad Javaid set up Express Smart Repairs and advertised on the discount websites.

He offered services for scratch and dent repairs and said a mechanic would turn up at customers’ addresses.

But those paying had to stump up the cash upfront, only to find no mechanic arrived and their pleas for a refund fell on deaf ears.

The 31-year-old set up the company despite previous convictions for fraud in 2013, where he was supposed to be subject to a Serious Crime Prevention Order.

He was only scuppered when he tried to buy a BMW on finance, where repayments were not met.

There were 39 victims of his fraud across the country, Lewes Crown Court heard.

The Argus:

Javaid pleaded guilty to fraud, money laundering, and theft, as well as breaching the prevention order.

He was sentenced to four years and four months in prison this month.

The court was told that detectives spotted Javaid was running businesses in 2016, despite a ten-year ban under the prevention order.

He had previously served a two and a half year prison sentence from a case heard at Hove Crown Court in April 2013.

That was when he pleaded guilty to fraudulent trading, carrying on an ancillary credit business without a consumer credit licence, ten counts of fraud and one count of perverting the course of justice.

Following the case earlier this month, Detective Constable Karen Young said: “This was a complex investigation covering Javaid's offending from 2015 through to 2019.

The Argus:

“He set up a company ‘Express Smart Repairs’ that advertised on website Groupon and Wowcher to carry out scratch and dent repairs to vehicles that would be carried out at customers' home addresses.

“Payment was required up front to secure a mobile mechanic but no mechanic ever arrived and no refunds were ever received.

“The fraud began to come to police notice when in February 2016 Javaid who had obtained, via a third party, access to a BMW purchased on finance, where repayments were not met, was stopped by officers while driving the car, and the car was repossessed by the finance company.

Javaid, of Foxhill, Peacehaven, will have to serve half of his prison sentence before being released on licence.

DC Young added: “To help carry out this fraud, to which 39 people from all over the UK fell victim, Javaid leased a property in Lewes Road, Brighton, from where the frauds were instigated.

“This included the sale of storage containers that some customers purchased but that never arrived with them. No refunds were ever received.”