Former South Melbourne car dealer Andrew John Anastassiou has been convicted and fined $20,000 for contraventions of the Motor Car Traders Act 1986.
Mr Anastassiou, sole director of Better Choice Wholesale Cars Pty Ltd, failed to appear in Melbourne Magistrate’s Court on 22 March 2012, when the court convicted him and imposed the fine. He was also ordered to pay $3000 costs and $673.10 in disbursements.
Mr Anastassiou was convicted of one count of selling, exchanging or otherwise disposing of a motor car without first procuring the cancellation of a registered security interest, and two counts of selling or offering to sell a motor car by consignment.
The same three charges against Better Choice Wholesale Cars were withdrawn following court orders to wind up the company.
In September 2008, Mr Anastassiou knowingly permitted Better Choice Wholesale Cars to sell a car without first procuring the cancellation of an existing registered security interest on the vehicle. The debt was not paid out and cancelled until 15 months after the vehicle was sold.
Mr Anastassiou also offered to sell vehicles by consignment for two consumers, in February and April 2009.
The Motor Car Traders Act prohibits licensed motor car traders from selling or offering to sell by consignment – that is, selling, exchanging or otherwise disposing of a motor car, or any interest in one – as an agent for someone who is not an LMCT or a special trader.
In both cases the vehicles were delivered to Mr Anastassiou for sale by consignment by his company. The consumers did not sign any sale documentation to transfer the vehicle. Mr Anastassiou eventually made partial payments to them, well below the discussed sale price.