Fleet News

Directors jailed

TWO directors of a car dealership group who masterminded a £12 million fraud were jailed for a total of eight and a half years on Friday at the end of a five-month trial. John Hayes, chairman and founder of Swithland Motors, and finance director David Sharratt forced staff into dishonest dealings in a bid to keep the sinking firm afloat.

Employees were told to park their own cars at Swithland garages to boost stock levels when auditors carried out checks prior to a failed stock market flotation. Staff also had to destroy computer records, shred documents and fiddle petty cash. John Hayes was jailed for five years, Sharratt was jailed for three and a half years and John Hayes' younger brother Richard, 34, of Quorn, Leics, Swithland's sales director, was told he would not have to face a retrial after the jury failed to reach a verdict on the same charge.

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