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A second-hand car dealer has been fined £12,000 after it was discovered he ripped off customers through the mis-selling of high-end cars.

Company Director Quissanga Baptista Alberto of Jet Car Sales in High Road, Leytonstone, disappeared in December 2012 after Waltham Forest trading standards team revealed he was under investigation.

In his absence, he was found guilty of four separate offences under the 2008 Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations at Thames Magistrates' Court on April 4.

The court agreed two fines of £4,000 and two of £2,000 for the four offences. Alberto, formerly of Lytchat Way, in Enfield, is also ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £120 and costs of £3, 075.

The Leytonstone firm was brought to the attention of the trading standards team following a series of complaints.

A customer bought a Mercedes Benz ML270 in April 2012 under the impression it had a three-month warranty, but upon driving the vehicle home the buyer smelt diesel leaking from the vehicle so he took it to a garage.

A number of defects were discovered and repaired, but when the warranty company was contacted the owner was advised that there was no warranty registered in respect of the vehicle.

As a result the purchaser was unable to recover the repair costs of around £1,000.

The warranty team had in fact ceased its business relationship with Jet Car Sales in March 2012.

A buyer was also put out of pocket when he purchased a Toyota Avensis sold as in 'good condition' in July 2012, but after conducting a HPI check, he realised the mileage was not accurate and the vehicle had more than two owners.  

A week after purchasing the car it failed to start and despite help from the AA, the vehicle could still not be made to run and he never received a refund.

Mr Alberto quickly disappeared after being called in for an interview by the trading standards team in December 2012.

In total, he owes £15,000 in unpaid fines and costs.