Belfast director found guilty of fraud

Date published: 05 February 2019

A Belfast director was today found guilty of fraud at Belfast Magistrates Court.

Court report
Court report

In the case brought by the Department for the Economy’s Trading Standards, Gareth Edward Moore, Westland Way, Belfast was found guilty of two charges under the Fraud Act 2006 for fraud by false representation in September 2016. Sentencing in the case took place after the execution of a bench warrant and Mr Moore was sentenced to five months imprisonment suspended for three years and ordered to pay compensation of £1798.

Mr Moore was the sole director of Zebra Value Books Ltd and used the company website to offer Apple Macbooks for sale at a discounted price. This duped consumers who believed they were getting a bargain into paying £899 for goods which they never received. In reality, Mr Moore had never intended to supply the Macbooks but instead aimed to defraud online shoppers.

Andrew Cooper of the Trading Standards Service said: “Consumers should be very careful about the websites they use to purchase goods online. Online fraudsters can use the anonymity of the internet to trick their victims into parting with their money. In this case, consumers thought they were getting a bargain as the Macbooks were offered for sale at hundreds of pounds less than the normal retail price, but were left disappointed when nothing ever arrived. I would urge consumers to beware that if an offer appears too good to be true, then it probably is.”

Anyone who requires advice about their rights with respect to online shopping should contact Consumerline on 0300 123 6262.

Notes to editors: 

  1. The Fraud Act 2006 makes it an offence to commit fraud by making a false representation. The company director is also liable for the offence of fraud by false representation where it is made with their consent or connivance.
  2. For press enquiries please contact DFE Press Office on tel: 028 9052 9604. Out of office hours please contact the Duty Press Officer on 028 9037 8110 and your call will be returned.
  3. Follow Trading Standards on Twitter @TSSNI

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