Rogue Wembley HGV trainer sentenced after selling non-existent training

HGV lorries in a lay-by in Colnbrook, Berkshire, for their rest period. The Government has announced

Wembley rogue HGV instructor duped victims by selling training but never showing up  - Credit: PA

A rogue HGV instructor was handed a suspended prison sentence and fined thousands of pounds after duping victims into applying for non-existent training. 

Usman Qureshi, 39, from Wembley, conned people out of more than £63,000 by offering to provide training for full HGV licences.

Operating out of a Harrow-based business known as New Wave Driving School, he said the courses would only take a few months to complete and would be offered at several locations. 

But his victims found the training was then cancelled, sometimes at the last minute, meaning travel and accommodation costs were also lost. Payments, some as large as £4,500, were not refunded. 

An investigation by Brent and Harrow Trading Standards probed 23 complaints from people across the country, and found customers had lost £63,293 in total. 

Two investors, who cancelled their contracts with New Wave Driving School after several customer complaints said they had payback adding up to £281,000.

Harrow Crown Court ordered Qureshi to pay £17,500 in compensation, £10,500 towards court costs and a £156 victim surcharge. 

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He was handed a 12-month prison sentence, suspended for two years.

Cllr Anjana Patel, lead councillor for environment and community safety at Harrow Council, said: “Qureshi was only interested in lining his own pocket by taking advantage of his victims who needed training to help them with employment prospects.

“It’s a good job our trading standards officers are here to protect consumers, and I’d like to thank our team for the work put in to bring an end to this nation-wide scam. We’ll do the same to anyone else who thinks they are above the law and operate unlawfully.”

Anyone wishing to report a rogue trader or who suspects someone of not operating legally should call the Citizens Advice Consumer Advice line on 0808 223 1133.