Rental depot manager jailed after £246,000 remarketing fraud

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A former depot manager at SHB Hire's Exeter branch has been jailed after fraud to the value of £246,000.

Michael Melhuish was the depot manager at SHB in Exeter and devised four different methods for stealing money from his bosses, reported the Exeter Express and Echo.

Melhuish sold 23 defleeted vehicles himself, and kept the proceeds, as well as selling others below their true value to a friendly dealer and splitting the profits.

He falsified part exchange records so he could sell vehicles and pocket the money and kept a £13,000 Land Rover Defender for himself, even getting the company to pay £2,281 for servicing and repair.

Melhuish, 35, of Exeter, admitted fraud and was jailed for 30 months by Judge Graham Cottle at Exeter Crown Court.

He told him: "Over a period of 14 months when you were in a position of trust as depot manager, you stole close to quarter of a million pounds.

"You did so in various ways by falsifying accounts, stealing and selling vehicles, undervaluing them and taking vehicles in part exchange which went missing."

Peter Coombe, defending, said Melhuish was suffering from depression at the time and had spent money on things which made him feel better.

He said:"The total figure fails to take into account the value of items which have been recovered by the company.He says the frauds began when he became depressed and evidence from his GP confirms he was receiving medication."

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