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Michael Saba, a shareholder of A1 Auto Trader Pty Ltd, has been disqualified for a period of five years from being involved in the conduct of the business of a motor dealer.

The Minchinbury dealership and its director have also been reprimanded by the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) following action taken by NSW Fair Trading.

In addition, strict conditions have been imposed on A1 Auto Trader Pty Ltd requiring Mr Saba to resign as shareholder and to have no involvement whatsoever with the dealership for five years.

Mr Saba was previously disqualified from being involved in the business of a motor dealer for a period of 12 months between 2011 and 2012.

A1 Auto Trader Pty Ltd was prosecuted on 11 September 2013 for operating a motor vehicle dealership at unlicensed premises.

The business was trading from Lot 20, 591 Carlisle Avenue, Minchinbury but was licensed to trade only from Lot 21, 591 Carlisle Avenue, Minchinbury.

A1 Auto Trader was convicted of unlicensed dealing and ordered to pay $1,335 fines and costs.

Subsequent inspections of the trader by NSW Fair Trading uncovered numerous contraventions of the Motor Dealers Act and Regulation.

This resulted in disciplinary action against Mr Saba, A1 Auto Trader Pty Ltd and its director Ms Souhad Sukkar. In addition, fines were issued to the dealership and Mr Saba personally to the value of $11,000.

Mr Saba, the business and Ms Sukkar subsequently appealed Fair Trading’s decision to take disciplinary action to the NCAT.

On 1 May 2014 the NCAT made orders affirming the disqualification of Mr Saba, reprimanded the business and Ms Sukkar and imposed conditions on the motor dealer licence of A1 Auto Trader Pty Ltd.

Acting Fair Trading Commissioner Rob Vellar welcomed the decision.

“The motor dealer industry is a highly regulated industry and dealers are expected to adhere to all laws and regulations,” he said.

“Dealers who flout the law must be removed from the industry. Buying a car is a major purchase and consumers have a right to expect the dealer they do business with is appropriately licensed.”

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