Fraud police are searching for a man calling
himself James Morgan after thousands of pounds were paid to his
company in deposits for hire cars that never materialised.

One man has already been arrested by the
Volume Fraud unit of Greater Manchester Police on suspicion of
fraud by false pretences. Two others are thought to have been
involved in business conducted by Synergy Manchester.

The company offered Audis, BMWs and similar
cars on long-term hire agreements beginning in mid-May but no
vehicles have been delivered and Synergy Manchester removed all
traces of its business from temporary premises in Newhey, Rochdale,
on 12 May.

The company’s phone lines are dead and the man
who organised the deals, calling himself James Morgan, is missing,
after 15 people handed over more than £50,000 to Synergy
Manchester, it is believed.

The Synergy Manchester
, online since November 2011, says the company has gone
into liquidation though this is not possible as the business is not
a limited company. The company also claimed to be regulated by the
Ministry of Justice, though Ministry regulation of the business was
ended on 31 March 2012.

‘Disappeared off the face of the

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A thread on the car maintenance and purchase
advice website Honest John contains several posts from those who
claim to have lost between £1,000 and £4,000 to Morgan and

As well as suspicion held by forum members
regarding the company’s policies, contributors alleged the company
was unable to supply terms & conditions that covered a
long-term rental and asked to have money paid into a bank account
instead of supplying a regulated credit agreement.

One contributor said they had handed over
£2,000, as had many others, despite knowing “something wasn’t
right” and now claiming the company had “disappeared off the face
of the earth”.

A third alleged they had also paid £2,370 in
deposit and rental before discovering Synergy’s phones were dead
and the company was not listed with Companies House, but no
organisation could help to retrieve money paid as a BACS