Australian We Buy Any Car dealer Richard Burbage, who fled the country owing AUS$11m, has been tracked down after more dodgy dealings back in the UK.
NewsMail.com.au revealed today that the used car salesman, 40, fled Australia’s Sunshine Coast in mid-2012 following the collapse of his Brisbane-based business We Buy Any Car as it emerged he had left 1,200 vehicle owners out of pocket.
Customers were unable to retrieve their vehicles from the Currimundi-based caryard despite not being paid for them.
In July 2012, he escaped the country back to the UK – where he was born. In his hurriedness, he left empty a $1m property in Brisbane and sold his wife’s $200,000 Bentley at a major loss.
It was only when administrators took control of the company, which he was a co-director of, that he jumped on a flight back.
Mr Burbage was flagged up in Southampton after the Daily Echo revealed he was up to no good at another car business that went bust.
Speaking to the Echo, he revealed how “terrible” he felt about the collapse of We Buy Any Car, and how he only left Australia due to a nervous breakdown and for fear of his family’s safety.
“I had a nervous breakdown when all this happened. The death threats, the trauma, the media.
“I can understand they wanted to report it. But when you are having a nervous breakdown you are not in the position to speak to the media.
“I was not running away. I still have a lot of friends in Australia. It was the fact I had to protect my family.
“I have had people at my house at all times of the night. I had death threats and people at my house.
“We had people putting bricks through the windows – cars vandalised,” he continued.
As a result of Mr Burbage’s dealings at WeBuyAnyCar.com.au, he has been banned from being a director in an Australian company for a decade.
The way Australian We Buy Any Car operated was unconventional in that its used car yards did not pay customers until the vehicle sold from their lot.
After the company dived, their customers were left owing in excess of $3.6m and prevented from picking up their vehicles by liquidators. Another $2.6m was owed to trade creditors.
It was only Mr Burbage pulled the wool over customers’ eyes in Southampton, at Woolston Car Supermarket, that the used car salesman was caught.
He emerged again amidst claims of selling defective cars and bounced cheques.
He was involved with Stan Rudgley in the sale of vehicles at Woolston Car Supermarket, but denies being part-owner of the business.
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