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Car boss says fraud was just a mistake
8:00am Sunday 29th September 2013 in Latest News
A car dealer, convicted of fraud, has said the incident was a big mistake, as he waits to hear whether he will be jailed.
Miles Eglin, of Shaw Hill, Melksham, made four failed payments to Aston Barclay Westbury during a three-week period in the summer of last year.
He pleaded guilty to a charge of fraud at Swindon Crown Court last Friday.
The 45-year-old insisted the first two were sent in good faith, as he had hoped someone was going to deposit money into his account.
However, as time went on, it became clear that there was not the money to settle the debt for the vehicles he had bought.
After the hearing, he said: “I’d just been through this awful divorce and there was a catalogue of things that all happened in a short period.
“In three months, I lost my Nan, my wife left and I found I had a shadow on my lung, which, thankfully, later turned out to be benign.
“I issued those two cheques when I was in Cornwall with my kids, just to try to bury my head in the sand, but that was a big mistake.
“It was a huge error on my part that was made at a time when some of the decisions I was taking weren’t right. I am doing everything in my power to try and put it all right. I just want to put it all behind me; put my life back on track.”
Chris Smyth, defending, said the total loss to the auction house was in the region of £53,000.
He said: “When he wrote the first cheque, he thought funds would be coming in. He accepted the position changed when he wrote the third and fourth.
“The second, he said he thought funds would still come in and accepts it was a rather foolish thing to put in.”
Eglin, he said, would often get cars knowing he already had buyers for them, so it was not unusual for funds to come in like that.
Prosecutor Hannah Squire said she was prepared to accept he believed the first cheque would be honoured, but was sceptical about the next.
Recorder Michael Bowes QC said he would not order a trial of issue to find out the truth about the third cheque.
Adjourning the fraud case, he said: “I am certainly going to order a pre-sentence report: all options are to remain open.”
He released Eglin on conditional bail until October 18.