A CAR clocking gang who ran their racket from garages in Netherton and West Bromwich where dozens of unsuspecting buyers were conned into paying good money for cars worth no more than scrap value have been jailed.

Judge Mark Eades said the activities of the gang not only badly hit customers but damaged the efforts put in by honest people who working in the second hand car industry.

"Your involvement in this conspiracy to defraud is serious and it involves sophisticated fraud," he added. "It was done simply so that you could make a profit."

The gang sold on vehicles with forged documents to unsuspecting customers who believed mileages were genuine when the cars had done tens of thousands of miles more.

They operated from Netherton Motors in Halesowen Road, Netherton and Enzo Motors in Great Bridge Street, West Bromwich and, said Mr Mark Jackson prosecuting, the total profit they made from their criminal activities had not yet been calculated.

"This was an extremely sophisticated and professionally run fraud," he told Wolverhampton Crown Court as he detailed how service books, MOT certificates and HPI documents were forged.

But the scam was rumbled when a complaint was made to Sandwell's Trading Standards Department about a Vauxhall Astra clocked down from 138,000 miles to 58,000 miles that had been bought from gang member Inderjit Johal.

An investigation then discovered a number of text messages had been sent between the defendants in which they talked about selling clocked cars and how much money they would pocket from the crooked deals.

Johal 26 of Sherlock Close, Willenhall and 27 year old Sundeep Singh of Woodruff Way, Walsall both admitted two charges of conspiracy to defraud and they were each jailed for 36 months,.

Pardeep Singh 33 from Tanacetum Drive, Walsall was also put behind bars for 36 months after he admitted one charge of conspiracy to defraud Jatinder Sandher 28 of Brookfield Way, Tipton admitted two similar charges and he was sent to prison for 32 months while 24 year old Karmjit Sohal also of Sherlock Close was convicted on two conspiracy to defraud charges at the end of her trial.

She was given an 18 month jail term by the Judge but suspended for two years and also ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work in the community.

Mr Jackson told the court that a VW golf was bought with 129.000 miles on the clock before being sold on by the gang just four days later when it had 67,000 miles on the clock.

The vehicle also had a fake MOT certificate, service book and invoice and it made the gang a quick profit of £1,500 although it was difficult to establish just what role each of the four main defendants played in the total scam.

They were all responsible for selling clocked cars from the Netherton and West Bromwich sites, said Mr Jackson, while Karmjit Sohal did not sell any vehicles.

She appeared to have played a role in buying and advertising cars and also dealing with money, concluded Mr Jackson who told the court the defendants would be facing a Proceeds of Crime hearing in the future.