Crash for cash fraudster’s found guilty resulting in landmark milestone for IFB
11 May 2017
A crash for cash gang has today been found guilty of fraud offences for deliberately causing a crash in Warwickshire. These convictions bring up the milestone 500th conviction for the Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB), an organisation that leads the insurance industry's collective fight against insurance fraud.
The trial, which has been ongoing since Monday 8 May, concluded with four individuals convicted of Fraud by False representation for their part in the fraud. During the trial, the court heard how the group ventured onto public roads with the sole intention of deliberately crashing into innocent and unsuspecting members of the public, putting people at a very real risk of serious injury. The gang were then submitting multiple claims to insurance companies for fake injuries, vehicle damage and solicitor costs.
The main orchestrator of the fraud, Amar Hussain, pleaded guilty before the trial began, with his acquaintances Wazim Riaz and Benjamin Hamula standing trial. The pair were today, 11 May 2017, found guilty of making false insurance claims. Another individual Saood Khan, who was also part of the scam to make fake claims, pleaded guilty before the trial.
IFB were originally contacted by Warwickshire Police with intelligence of suspected induced crashes taking place in and around Warwickshire. Working closely with the police, IFB provided support in reviewing seized letters and documentation that the gang were using to commit the fraud, ensuring Warwickshire Police had a complete understanding of the gang’s activity which could be taken forward for prosecution. Sentencing is due to take place on 8 June 2017.
Crash for cash gangs are calculated in their activities and plan to maximise the amount of money they can fraudulently claim. This group used scripts to authenticate their fraud, detailing the scenarios surrounding each crash to ensure that nothing could put their ‘claims’ in jeopardy. The scripts had undoubtedly been created to guarantee that no mistakes were made when reporting the crashes to insurers. A piece of paper, found in the possession of Mr Hussain at the time of his arrest, included the specifics of accidents with drivers and vehicles details. The notes also included basic drawings of the crashes as a prompt of their colluded story, along with a noted reminder of the fake back and neck injuries they were attempting to claim for.
Ben Fletcher, Director of the IFB, said: “All too often we see innocent members of the public being targeted by crash for cash gangs like these. The public need to be extra vigilant when driving on the roads and report any suspicions they have to the Cheatline. This gang was sophisticated, using scripts to ensure their fakes claims looked valid to insurers and will try anything they can to exploit money from the system.
“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 £336m per year, and it is premium-paying motorists who ultimately foot the bill.”
This successful verdict brings IFB to its landmark 500th conviction milestone since being set up back in 2006. 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.
Fletcher continues: “We currently have over 170 live investigations into large-scale insurance fraud and are committed to increasing that. Hitting our 500th conviction is a fantastic achievement for the IFB but more significantly it demonstrates the importance of having the continued commitment from the insurance industry and police in tackling fraud. Working together we are tightening the net on fraudsters which ultimately sends a strong message that fraud is not acceptable.”
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 at www.insurancefraudbureau.org/cheatline. All information provided to the Cheatline is treated in the strictest confidence.