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3 March 2017

Mobile trader gets jail sentence

Customers paid for goods trader never intended to supply.

The owner of Flexi Buy, a mobile trader which sold goods door-to-door in the North Island, has been sentenced to 2 years’ jail.

Vikram Mehta, the director and shareholder of the company, was found guilty of charges filed by the Commerce Commission under the Crimes Act. He’d told customers their goods would be supplied once they had made a set number of payments, but he never intended to supply them.

Between 2012 and 2014, Flexi Buy entered into more than 300 consumer credit contracts but only 9 customers got their goods.

The commission says Mehta used Flexi Buy income for his personal use, including spending $22,000 during a trip to India.

In sentencing, Judge Cunningham said, “Because of the seriousness of what occurred here, I am not minded to impose home detention. In my view, it needs to be a sentence at the top of the hierarchy of sentences to send a message to Mr Mehta and any other persons who seek to, in my words, rip off vulnerable people, that such behaviour that breaches the criminal law will be met with the full force of the criminal law.”

Mehta intends to appeal.

Flexi Buy was fined $50,000 last year for breaching the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act by failing to provide customers with required disclosure. A further $3408 was awarded in damages to affected customers.

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