Stretford conman who sold stolen caravans on eBay ordered to pay back £10,000

A Stretford man convicted of selling stolen luxury caravans to unsuspecting eBay buyers has been ordered to pay back £10,000.

Joseph Cochrane, of Milton Road, was convicted last year for handling luxury caravans stolen in Holland and Germany worth a total of £34,000 before selling them on the auction site. 

The 47-year-old sold one caravan for £8,400 to a man from Cumbria, who lost all his money when the caravan was recovered and sent back to its original owner.

Police managed to seize another caravan before he could sell it to another member of the public – but not before he had taken a £200 deposit from a man in Manchester.

Detective Constable John Townsend, from Greater Manchester Police’s Asset Attack Team, said: “Both members of the public who lost out should now get back all the money they lost back.

“It may take a while to complete the process but Greater Manchester Police do not forget, and we are fully aware of the impact fraud can have on members of the public.”

When GMP officers raided his Stretford home and seized £2,680 in cash, Cochrane initially disputed ownership of the cash and stated he had no other assets, claiming he had sold the caravans on behalf of another man.

He himself maintained he had been on benefits as he was not capable of working.

However, at a confiscation hearing at Manchester Crown Court on Thursday 19, Cochrane was ordered to pay £10,000 within the next six months or face six months imprisonment.

“While fraud is a growing problem, I would like to reassure both members of the public and criminals engaged in fraud that GMP is determined to bring criminals to justice,” DC Townsend added.

“We will also leave no stone unturned in making sure that we strip criminals of their assets and compensate their victims who have lost their hard earned money through fraud.

“It is one of the best parts of my job to contact victims and tell them the good news when we succeed in retrieving their money.”

Image courtesy of Mikey, with thanks.

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