Dad gave £36,000 Volvo lease to loan sharks as collateral and they shipped it to Poland
A man who leased a £36,000 Volvo car gave it to illegal moneylenders as collateral for a loan he took out, a court has heard. The Volvo is now missing, but is believed to have been shipped to Poland by the loan sharks or their associates.
To try to cover his tracks, Adrian Maciejewski first told the garage he was renting the vehicle from that he couldn’t return it because his brother had it and his brother was self-isolating with Covid. Swansea Crown Court heard the car scam wasn’t the only way Maciejewski turned to crime to make money – the father-of-one once harassed a celebrity and scammed him demanded money, threatening to kill himself if he wasn’t. paid.
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Megan Jones, prosecuting, said in November 2019 that Maciejewski took out a 12-month lease on a £36,000 Volvo vehicle from Quality Vehicle Hire at Cwmbwrla in Swansea. The defendant made the regular monthly payments of £576, but when the garage boss contacted him in November 2021 to arrange for the return of the Volvo, the defendant told him he had lent it to his brother who was now isolated. The court heard the boss of the garage – who knows Maciejewski from the car trade – give the defendant a week’s grace period, but when he contacted him again he was told that Maciejewski’s brother had driven the Volvo in Poland to see their parents. The prosecutor said the garage boss gave the defendant a week to return the missing Volvo and said otherwise he would have to report it stolen. When Maciejewski showed up at Quality Vehicle Hire to return another leased vehicle on Nov. 17, he said the Volvo was in Poland, but he didn’t know who had it or where it was. Discover the trusted treasurer of a popular yacht club who raided the coffers and used tens of thousands of pounds of his money.
Police were contacted and in his interview the accused said that in the summer of 2019 he found himself in debt of between £60,000 and £70,000 and in desperation posted messages on social media asking if anyone could lend him some money. He said he was approached by people offering to loan him £10,000 which he would have to repay £1,000 a month for 20 months and when he found himself struggling to make the repayments, he gave the Volvo as security to the lenders. Maciejewski said he was warned by the lenders that if he spoke to the police about the arrangements there would be “problems”, then in October 2020 when he contacted them to say he needed to recover the vehicle because he should return it soon, it was said that it was in Poland. Learn about a successful recruitment consultant who lost his business and his home in the Covid pandemic and turned to cocaine trafficking to make ends meet and support these young children.
Maciejewski, of Waun Gron, Rhydyfro, Pontardawe, admitted the theft. He has three previous convictions for five offenses, including harassment. The offence, for which he received a community order in 2018, saw him write letters to an anonymous ‘TV personality’ asking for money, threatening to kill himself and showing up at the property of the celebrity.
Giles Hayes, for Maciejewski, said the defendant had had a business relationship with the garage boss for several years and had previously rented vehicles from him without incident. He said his client’s “financial desperation” led him to make a “rash and very stupid decision” and that he felt remorse for his actions. The attorney said Maciejewski was a hard-working man trying to pay off his debts and he said an immediate custody stint would impact his wife and teenage daughter. The lawyer also pointed to the delay in the case, his client having made a full confession during a police interview in December 2020 but not being charged by postal requisition until March 2022.
Judge Huw Rees told Maciejewski that as someone who had worked in the motor trade for many years, he would have known the financial impact on his victim of what he was doing. He noted the defendant’s previous conviction for harassment and told him: “You are capable of being creative in your dishonesty”.
The judge called the delay in the case ‘unacceptable’ and said there had been no recurrence since his arrest and that the defendant had worked hard to restore some stability in the finances of the family who would be at risk if he were taken directly into custody. With a one-third reduction for his guilty plea, Maciejewski received an eight-month prison sentence suspended for 18 months and ordered to perform 200 hours of unpaid work. The judge said that given the defendant’s financial situation, he would not award any compensation to the victim. Judge Rees told Maciejewski: “I’m giving you an opportunity for the good of others – if you abuse it, the blame will be on you and I’ll send you to jail.”
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