The director of Newmarket Elite Horseboxes has been described by a judge as a “crook” with “no moral fibre” after he and his wife defrauded buyers out of tens of thousands of pounds.
Daniel Trevelyan, 36, and 41-year-old Newmarket Elite Horseboxes salesman Sarah Trevelyan, both of Moat Lane, Audley, both pleaded guilty to fraud by false representation, on 13 June, and were sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court on 19 June.
Daniel also pleaded guilty to being concerned with the formation, management and running of a company as an undischarged bankrupt.
Sarah was, on paper, the director of the company, but the court was told the business was used as a front to allow Daniel to carry on trading despite the fact he was bankrupt.
He had been made bankrupt while trading as HSD Horseboxes.
The fraudsters claimed the horseboxes they sold had a specific weight capacity, but the load they could carry was well below that advertised.
Both the victims involved in this case ordered horseboxes having responded to advertisements and dealt with Daniel, who was described as the “manager” of the company.
The first spent £28,950 on a Renault Master stated as being specifically modified to carry three ponies. The victim was told the lorry’s payload was 1,200kg, although it was only 650kg and was supplied with two stalls rather than the three specified.
The second spent £39,600 on a Renault Master, promised to be brand-new and with a 1,180kg payload. The vehicle that arrived was second-hand, with a 490kg payload.
Both victims were told the vehicles had been inspected and approved by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency, which was a lie.
The court heard, in the victims’ statements, that they had felt “a cocktail of emotions and anxiety, periods of sleeplessness and loss of appetite”, and that one had “turned to drink to combat the stress that had taken over my life”; stress that forced the victim to give up work.
His Honour Judge Clement Goldstone QC, the recorder of Liverpool, told Daniel: “You are, or were and time remains to be told whether you continue to be, what might be termed in old fashion parlance, a crook.
“Your early refusal to cooperate in bankruptcy proceedings, your inability to accept what you did was wrong or criminal until you pleaded guilty and even then you have little remorse, indicates you are a man without moral fibre and you have no place in the running of a business.
“You didn’t think twice about flouting your statutory obligation or putting your wife up as a front for running the business. You didn’t think anything of the stress caused by your behaviour and your bullying tactics, but I shouldn’t be surprised because you have a record as a fraudster.”
The man from Cheshire was sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court after the £2m tax fraud was exposed
Fraudsters are continuing to target horse owners with adverts for non-existent lorries
The fraudster, who swindled his own girlfriend and an 85-year-old man, has been attacked several times in prison
To Sarah, the recorder added: “You are in denial… You seek to blame everybody but yourself for being in the position you are. I have two words to say to you ‘get real’.”
Daniel Trevelyan was given a 16-month jail term, suspended for two years, and 300 hours of community service. Sarah was ordered to complete 300 hours of community service.