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Tuke v Hood: "novel" argument by car dealer fraudster gets short shrift in Court of Appeal

The Court of Appeal has delivered an important judgment which addresses whether a fraudster can reduce their liability to their victim by arguing that credit should be given for the "time value" of money received. 

In January 2021 the Commercial Court found that Mr Hood, a renowned classic car dealer, had duped Mr Tuke, a collector, into entering into a £8m loan agreement to buy a number of racing cars worth £10m on the basis that they would only appreciate in value. In fact the cars were actually worth nothing like this figure, leaving Mr Tuke having to sell other of his "investment cars", often on highly unfavourable terms, to meet the loan repayments. The Court allowed Mr Tuke to recover his lost investment opportunity, i.e. the difference between what he sold these investment cars for and what he could have obtained for them at market peak. 

In an appeal of considerable "chutzpah", Mr Hood sought to claim that credit be given for the "time value" of the cash received by Mr Tuke for the sale of the investment cars, otherwise he will have been over-compensated. 

Despite recognising this "novel" argument, Mr Hood's appeal did not attract much sympathy. There was insufficient link between the "time value" of cash in Mr Tuke's account, and the fraudulent transactions - it was not a benefit received under those transactions. It also ran the risk of fraudsters seeking to reduce their liability to victims by concealing the deception allowing the "time value" of the money in the victim's account to accumulate.                

"There are no doubt many honest and reputable second-hand car dealers plying their trade in this country. Unfortunately for Mr Tuke, Mr Hood was not among their number" - Lady Justice Andrews


automotive, dispute resolution