A Hale Barns man who scammed motorists with a sham "meet and greet" car service has been jailed for 17 months.
Mohammed Isaq, of Davenport Green Hall, charged up to £70 to collect cars from Manchester Airport between August 2017 and February 2018 and park them securely.
Trafford Council’s trading standards officers launched an investigation into Manchester Meet and Greet and two other similar firms after customers complained they had been misled by the owners of the firm or that their vehicles had been damaged.
Now, after a trial at Manchester Crown Court, 62-year-old Isaq has been sentenced to 17 months' prison after admitting fraudulent trading.
His son, Sultan Khan, 28, and daughter Amani, 27, who also worked for the firms, pleaded guilty to breaking consumer protection laws by negligence and were each given 18-month community orders and 200 hours' unpaid work. Isaq was also banned from being a company director for six years.
Businessman Mohammed Isaq, from Hale Barns, is already serving a 20-month prison sentence for ‘flagrant’ disregard of fire safety rules at Haslington Hall near Crewe.
During the trial, the court heard that customers were told their cars would be kept in a secure car park, covered by security and CCTV cameras, floodlighting and 24-hour staffing.
But the reality was that cars were parked in a muddy field at Davenport Green Hall, or on residential streets including Brooks Drive and Hasty Lane. There was no CCTV or security cameras, no floodlighting or 24-hour staff coverage.
Car keys and the cars themselves were kept insecure, resulting in thefts of keys and cars. Other cars suffered significant damage, or were used by employees of the company for their own or the company’s purposes without the permission of the owners.
In August 2017, 130 keys and a number of vehicles from the site at Davenport Green Hall were stolen following a break-in. Returning holidaymakers expecting to be met by drivers at the terminal instead learned that a large number of cars had been stolen.
The court previously heard how Trafford Council’s planning department had issued Isaq with an enforcement notice in relation to the use of the land at Davenport Green Hall for car parking without the relevant planning permission, but this was ignored and the firm continued to park cars at the site.
A spokesperson for Trafford Council said: “This is an appalling case in which customers were lied to and taken advantage of. They left their cars with this company on the understanding they would be kept in a safe location while they were away and this was simply not the case – their vehicles were misused, damaged and stolen.
“I am pleased with the outcome of this case and would like to say a huge thank you to our trading standards and planning teams for all their hard work. We will not stand by and allow fraudulent companies to operate in our borough – we will investigate and have them prosecuted.”
Isaq has a history of offending. In 2018 he was jailed for 20 months for breaching serious fire safety regulations at Haslington Hall near Crewe, and he was separately sentenced to 26 weeks in jail for VAT tax fraud.
He had a number of brushes with the authorities when running Davenport Green Hall as a wedding venue.
He was first served with an enforcement notice in July 2010, requiring him to remove the unauthorised marquee and associated structures.
In December 2013, he was convicted at Trafford Magistrates’ Court for failing to comply with the order.
And then in 2014, Isaq was fined £60,000 relating to 10 food hygiene and two health and safety offences at Davenport Green Hall.