Chauffeur company which ran a professional clocking scam is convicted of fraud

Jury takes just 10 minutes to convict PCS Events Ltd of conspiracy to defraud in multi-million mile car clocking scam

 

Yesterday, 21 November 2017, a jury convicted Runcorn based PCS Events Limited – which trades under the names PCS and PCS Chauffeurs – of fraud. The court heard how PCS Chauffeurs was the company behind Emirates UK chauffeurs service in Birmingham, Manchester and Birmingham and provided various celebrities and high-profile clients such as the X Factor with chauffeur services.

To the outside world PCS appeared to be a reputable company, however, it was a company run by a criminal gang that turned back the clocks on over a hundred vehicles. Even though the true scale of the fraud may never be known, trading standards calculated that the company conspired to remove at least 7.5 million miles from vehicles.

The trial which was expected to last two weeks lasted less than two days after PCS chose not to send any representation from the company or defence counsel.

The company which pleaded not guilty resulted in Richard Pratt, QC, for the prosecution outling the case against PCS and the two directors, John Murphy and Paul Arslanian whilst the dock remained empty.

Earlier this year John Murphy and Paul Arslanian along with PCS Events transport manager, Christopher Lunt and in-house mechanic Trevor Jones were convicted of conspiracy to defraud. Also, Simon Williams, an MoT tester who provided the company with bogus MoT’s for vehicles which were used to transport high-profile clients was also convicted following a six week trials, a result of a two and a half year investigation by trading standards.

In the last audited accounts filed by PCS Events Limited for the year ending 31 July 2015, the auditor provided a statement on the “pending litigation”, stating: “The company is presently engaged in strenuously contested litigation. After taking legal advice the directors are confident of a favourable outcome and do not see these events as likely to compromise the future trading operations of the company.”   

However, the company extended its accounting period to 31 January 2017 and according to companies house PCS have failed to file accounts which were due on the 31 October 2017. If, as expected PCS Events Ltd collapses this will be the third company in seven years associated to the Murphy family and “prestigious” Emirates chauffeur service contract to have collapsed.

 

Pictured above is Murphy with Emirates Airline airhostesses, ironically pictured in front of clocked vehicles, some of which were used in the recent car clocking trials

PCS website and phone number have been diverted to a new company called Sapphire Travel Management which is run by John Murphy’s son, James Murphy. The “new” company is based at Livingston House, Tarvin Road, Frodsham and it appears PCS left their Runcorn based premises some time ago.

According to The Times Emirates Airline has failed to respond to requests for comments and as according to Sapphire Travel Management’s own website now claims to now be Emirates “preferred chauffeur service”, stating: “Sapphire enjoy a special relationship with Emirates airline, a company renowned for their high standards of excellence and service, and are proud to be their preferred chauffeurs here in the UK”

Sapphire’s website claims: “Unparalleled quality is something that is paramount within the Sapphire business. It is one of the key factors that differentiates us from the competition. It begins with the quality of our fleet of over 150 vehicles, which predominantly comprises Mercedes ‘E’ class or higher specification vehicles.”

However, according to Cheshire West and Chester Council it appears Sapphire Travel Management only have two vehicles licensed with the council. It appears that the fleet of 150 vehicles Sapphire has been claiming to have for a number of months now actually belong to PCS Events Limited which raises questions over claims made.

Sentencing was adjourned until today by judge, Brian Cummings, QC, to allow a company liquidator to attend court. It is believed that in cases of company fraud an unlimited fine can be given to the company.

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