A Timaru man has been fined $100 for illegally selling 38 motor vehicles between 2017 and 2020.
Kenneth James Michael Cumming, 40, appeared before Judge Joanna Maze at the Timaru District Court on Tuesday. He had previously pleaded guilty to two counts of carrying out the business of motor vehicle trading without being registered which breaches the Motor Vehicle Sales Act 2003.
The summary of facts said the defendant sold 24 motor vehicles between September 26, 2017 and September 25, 2018. He then sold a further five vehicles after compliance letters were sent by the Registrar of Motor Vehicle Traders.
Cumming sold nine motor vehicles between August 24, 2019 and August 23, 2020. All of these vehicles were sold after compliance letters were sent to Cumming for the first period of offending.
“The registrar confirms that the defendant was not registered as a Motor Vehicle Trader throughout the period the motor vehicles were sold,” the summary says.
“The registrar has seen a worrying increase in the number of unregistered motor vehicle traders. That is because in the modern age it is much easier for a person to trade motor vehicles.
“Whereas, at the time the Act commenced in 2003, trading in motor vehicles was largely limited to registered motor vehicle dealers selling through car yards, or private owners advertising for sale in the newspaper or publications, now trading is largely engaged in over the internet.”
The Act states that a person is treated as a motor vehicle trader for the purposes of the Act if the person sells more than six vehicles within a 12-month period, “unless that person proves that those motor vehicles were not sold for the primary purpose of gain”.
In sentencing Cumming, Judge Maze said the offence carried a fine of up to $50,000.
However, she noted that Cumming’s situation would make it impossible for him to pay any significant fine.
“You are without resources, you have no job, you have a debt to an undertaker of nearly $3000,” Judge Maze said.
“You have a debt of $2000 to Work and Income, and you’re dependent on a disability allowance.
“Your expenses are $50 a week for food. Your rent is $78 per week. Frankly how you keep yourself together is beyond me.”
Judge Maze said the offending was “more than minor”, but “whatever it was you were doing with these vehicles, you weren’t making any money”.
Judge Mazed convicted Cumming and fined him $100.