THE BRAKES have put on a crash for cash gang which deliberately targeted Warwickshire drivers.
The four-strong gang – convicted of fraud by false representation following a week-long trial – had ventured onto public roads with the sole intention of crashing into unsuspecting drivers, putting people at a real risk of serious injury.
One such crash took place just outside of Kenilworth on the A452 Birmingham Road, at the junction with Red Lane.
Amar Hussain, 26, of Couchman Road, Birmingham, was jailed for 15 months, while Sahood Khan, 25, of Couchman Road, Birmingham, was jailed for 12 months for fraud and eight months for dangerous driving to run concurrently and disqualified from driving for 18 months.
Wasim Riaz, 26, of Maryland Avenue, Birmingham, was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment, suspended for two years and 300 community service, while Benjamin Hamula, 26, of Chestnut Road, Olbury, was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment suspended for two years and 300 community service.
The Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) was originally contacted by Warwickshire Police with intelligence of suspected deliberate crashes taking place in and around the county.
Working closely with the police, IFB reviewed seized documentation the gang used to submit multiple claims to insurance companies for fake injuries, damage and solicitor costs.
IFB director Ben Fletcher said: “This investigation between Warwickshire Police and IFB highlights to would-be fraudsters that the risks of being caught and prosecuted are very real and they face the prospect of heavy fines, a criminal record and imprisonment, with potentially restricted access to financial services for the rest of their lives.
“Fraudsters are fuelled by greed and have little regard for the impact they have on others. Not only are they putting road users at risk of injury but crash for cash has significant costs associated to it. We estimate it costs the industry £336million per year, and it is premium-paying motorists who ultimately foot the bill.”
The IFB leads the insurance industry’s fight against fraud, using sophisticated software to analyse and detect suspicious patterns of behaviours. It works closely with the police and other regulators to crackdown on fraud and protect honest premium-paying motorists by ensuring fraudsters are brought to justice.
Members of the public can play their role in fighting back against ‘crash for cash’ scams and other types of insurance fraud by reporting what they know to the Cheatline.
Powered by Crimestoppers, the Cheatline is a free service that enables the public to anonymously report information or suspicions about insurance fraud by calling 0800 422 0421 or reporting online atwww.insurancefraudbureau.org/cheatline. All information provided to the Cheatline is treated in confidence.