Local business man Dean Moses of Pioneer Service Centre/Eparts located on the Kingsditch Trading Estate in Cheltenham steals 40,000 from his young employee then sacks him when asked to refund the money.
Police say they are powerless to act, so I must.
Setting up his expanding business in September 2010 on the Kingsditch trading estate as Pioneer Automotive Solutions, specialising in the sales, servicing and repairs of Audi VWs, Dean Moses engages my son as head technician to oversee the workshop and initially to look after customers. During the setting up of the premises, Dean Moses invites my son to invest money by buying a stock of cars which he says he will sell along side his own vehicle on the forecourt of Pioneer splitting the profits 50/50. I am also given the opportunity to purchase my own vehicles on the same terms as my son. Having recently retired from the Health Service after 34 years of service, I had a pension fund sitting doing little in the bank. [continued below]....
..... Choosing to invest in my son's future and to get a better return on my savings I agree, albeit with reservation.
Whilst waiting for a written contract to be drawn up, Dean Moses tells us that a number of suitable cars are available at auction sites and is keen to purchase them quickly and asks us if we can get the money in cash quickly to enable him to purchase the vehicles without delay. Foolishly, we do. Yes, I know, we were stupid and its money we know we will never see again but Dean Moses had been trading in high quality 2nd hand Audi, VW's previously from the train station site in Gloucester Road, Cheltenham for a number of years and his move to the new site was an expansion of his business.
My son had started on a salary of 25,000 plus bonuses and overtime and we allowed this to blind us to caution. A book was initially kept and although the contract never materialised, always put off for one plausible excuse or another, sales seemed to be going well and the records kept. It had been agreed that profits from the sales would be paid annually with money from sales being ploughed back into buying new stock so we had no immediate reason to doubt the money would be paid back.
Some months later Dean Moses told my son that the book was proving difficult to keep because of the number of parts exchanges & trade in taking place and a fix rate of interest was proposed and agreed to. Here again things seemed to be progressing well until Dean Moses began turning his interest and motivation towards Eparts, a new venture into the sales of motor performance parts, sold through Ebay and his own website.
At this time it became increasing apparent that he was buying and selling less cars. This obviously began to raise concerns for my son and he decided to speak to Dean Moses. As our original verbal agreement had specified that we could request our money back at any time, giving Dean Moses 4 weeks notice, my son decided to take this option and was reassured the money would be returned. Two weeks later however, my son was called to the office and instantly dismissed. The justification later given by Dean Moses in his solicitors letter states, he was dismissed for poor performance and poor attitude and goes on to say In or around August 2011, Pioneer formally dismissed Chris Trudgian from his employment employment. It became increasingly very apparent during the initial 11 months of his employment that he was not capable of fulfilling the job role he was employed to do. His skill level and workmanship was not of the required standards as per his employment contract. He further tries to denigrate my son by going on to claim that Chris Trudgian was also entering the premises after hours, whereby our client believes goods (oils and service components) were going missing and equipment was being taken off site. The termination of Chris Trudgians employment was and is unrelated to the loan.
Shortly after my sons dismissal, I went to visit Dean Moses and was taken for a coffee at Starbucks and reassured that our money was safe and would be returned to us. Whilst he claimed he had sacked my son for his poor attitude no mention was made to me regarding theft as claimed above. I continued to visit Dean Moses weekly but increasing felt I was being fobbed off with excuse after excuse. During my next 3 visits I had hidden a tape recorder on my person and covertly recorded the conversations I was having with Dean Moses and these are available as evidence to substantiate my statements. I can tell you that I felt very anxious throughout these occasions, trying not to alert Dean Moses to the fact I was recording him whilst trying to extract the evidence that would prove he had taken our money. You can imagine, I'm sure, the feelings I was going through whilst standing there. Anger, knowing that this man had stolen my pension and my sons savings. The realisation that we would never see our money again, after all, I had worked for 34 years to earn this. The knowledge of how stupid we had been whilst this man stood before me conning me still with his false promises made it very difficult to remain calm. But what choice did I have, I needed to try and get whatever evidence I could to prove he had taken our money as we still had nothing in writing to say otherwise.
Having got the recordings, we sort legal advice and letters from our solicitor were sent to Dean Moses. Initially we did not alert Dean Moses to the fact that I had recorded several conversations with him. The reply we received back from his solicitor came as a shock. Reading the letter clearly shows that he had intended to defraud us from the outset. the solicitors letter states Our client understands from Mr Trudgian that he provided 20,000 in cash to his son, Mr Christopher Trudgian. If David did transfer this money to Christopher, it was certainly never passed to our client. Our client does not deny that David has visited their premises to discuss this matter, but on each occasion no admission of liability was made. Our client did not acknowledge that any monies were owed by them or did they provide any reassurances that any money would be repaid. Our client is sympathetic towards Davids situation, however we cannot assist him with the recovery of his money as this is a private matter between your clients It is our clients belief that Christopher is misleading his Father as to the whereabouts of the 20,000 that was given to him, under the pretence of providing a loan to our client.
He stated that his redacted accounts would prove he had never been given the money. In an attempt to resolve matters as soon as possible and avoid entirely unnecessary proceedings, our client would be prepared to provide you with redacted bank statements for their business accounts accounts, showing you that no such payments were received from Christopher and/or David during Christophers period of employment.
After being advised of the tape recordings he obviously needed to change his story and does so by acknowledges he received the money, but not before he liquidates the company that is. He then offers the same redacted accounts to prove, he says, that the money was paid to Pioneer Automotive Solutions, and not to him personal, as an investment into the company and not as a personal loan to purchase vehicles on our behalf for the purpose set out above. He also states that my son had not wanted anything put in writing as he wanted to fly below the radar for tax purposes.
Prior to liquidating the company, Dean Moses is known to have removed all removable assets in the form of stock from the company, using his employees and rented vehicles to do so. The remaining assets of the company were sold off for 10,000 and bought by his mother before the hidden stock is returned and used for Eparts and Pioneer Service Centre as it now became known.
Graham Swinburn, appointed as Customer Service Manager to Pioneer Automotive Solutions, was privy to the investment that my son and I had made and can be heard present during at least one taped session and present in part in another. He has made it known that he is not prepared to lie on Dean Moses behalf. Perhaps Graham is just wise enough to realise he is being dragged deeper and deeper into the mire and is seeking to distance himself from being implicated in Dean Moses fraud, or perhaps he is just simply afraid of finding himself in a similar position to that of my son when he colluded with Dean Moses to sack him knowing that Dean Moses had taken our money.
I realise our trust and foolishness has lost our money for good whilst this man goes on trading and running his business, albeit under the guise of his mother as director, however, I wish to ensure that this man's crime can not go unnoticed leaving him free to dupe other gullible employees etc.. I would like to publicise this as much as I can both locally and nationally.
I am also contemplating staging my own public campaign by raising awareness outside his premises but not to sure about the legality of this but if all else fails, I feel I will have no choice. I have already staged a Facebook awareness to alert peole