Fraudster sentenced after pocketing nearly £18,000 from fake car insurance sales
21 July 2021
A fraudster who pocketed nearly £18,000 for selling fake car insurance has been sentenced, following an investigation led by City of London Police's Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED), supported by the Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB).
Gurwinder Virdee, 30, of Gregory Road, Southall, London, pretended to work as a Broker for esure, offering bogus car insurance deals at unrealistically cheap prices to members of the public.
While pretending to be a Broker for esure, he obtained over 40 car insurance policies using false details and forged documentation, and pocketed nearly £18,000 in just a five-week period.
esure who are members of the IFB, ran enquiries which led them to believe a single person was behind the series of bogus policies. The case was then referred to IFED and the IFB supported investigations by collecting evidence of linked fraudulent activity from insurers.
Virdee was found to have been having conversations with his clients via the popular social messaging app WhatsApp. In addition, he was found to have been behind the website for the company Virdee Brokerage Limited, advertising private client insurance services, which claimed to be authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
Screenshot of a conversation on WhatsApp where Virdee would set up fraudulent car insurance policies for customers. Image credit: City of London Police
Ben Fletcher, Director of the Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB), said:
“Bogus car insurance scams are a serious problem. Not only do they leave insurance consumers out of pocket and driving without insurance, but they also enable those who otherwise would be illegal to drive to believe they have taken out a legitimate policy and start using public roads. The IFB is working extensively with the insurance industry and the police to crackdown on ‘Ghost Broker’ scams and we're pleased to have played a part in helping City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department in uncovering Virdee’s fraudulent activity. Unfortunately fake car insurance sales continue to be prevalent - especially online, so I encourage anyone looking for a car insurance deal to avoid anything that looks suspicious and to carry out essential checks so they can know they are making a purchase through a trusted provider.”
Virdee was sentenced to 23 months and two weeks imprisonment, suspended for two years, 30 days Rehabilitation Activity Requirement (RAR), 140 hours of unpaid work to be completed within 12 months and an electronically-tagged curfew for three months on Wednesday 21 July 2021 at Inner London Crown Court. He was also ordered to repay £1,000 in costs plus surcharges and to forfeit devices that were used to commit the fraud.
Virdee previously pleaded guilty in June to fraud by false representation, money laundering, forgery and to being an unauthorised broker under the Financial Services and Markets Act (FSMA). IFED seized assets totalling £60,000 from Virdee in 2019 using powers under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA).
Read the full report on City of London Police's news page.
The IFB is a not-for-profit organisation at the heart of the UK's fight against organised insurance fraud. Members of the public can report evidence of insurance fraud to its confidential Cheatline service on 0800 422 0421 or online.