A CAR salesman was willing to serve extra time in prison rather than embarrass his wife by asking her to plead with her father for money to make restitution, the District Court was told yesterday. Yuen Kin-lun, 41, pleaded guilty to a count of deception in the sum of $600,000, which was given to him to buy a Mercedes-Benz but which he decided to keep for himself. Deputy Judge Livesey sentenced him to 18 months' imprisonment, and a criminal bankruptcy order was made in the sum of $600,000 to the victim. Defence counsel Tom Cheng said Yuen felt he had embarrassed his wife enough by the incident and if he asked her to ask her father for help it would strain the relationship. The court was told Yuen went into hiding for eight months after the offence and was arrested when he tried to leave for Macau. Prosecutor Walter Lau said Tsui Man was the sole owner of Wing Lee Trading company and had business connections with a number of Chinese corporations. In December 1991, a customer in China asked Ms Tsui to buy a left-hand drive Mercedes 560 SEL and have it shipped to Dalian, northern China. Two days later Ms Tsui contacted the defendant, whom she knew as a car salesman, and asked him to look for such a car. About a week later, while Ms Tsui was in Dalian, she received a phone call from Yuen, who told her he had found a suitable car priced at $680,000. Yuen paid a deposit on a car the agreed price of which was $640,000. A few days later when Ms Tsui returned from China, Yuen took her to the motor company and showed her the car. They then went to the bank where Ms Tsui gave Yuen a cheque for the price of the car. It was then arranged with Ms Tsui that Yuen would phone her on January 23 last year and together they would collect the car for shipment to China. Ms Tsui had arranged the shipment. When no phone call was received from Yuen, she went to the motor company but they refused to release the car as only the deposit had been paid.