13 people sentenced after fraudulent bank cards used to claim £95,000 refunds on car insurance policies

Fraud

They bought motor insurance cover using a compromised bank card, cancelled it shortly after and claimed the refund onto a legitimate bank card

1ST CENTRAL referred the case to City of London Police after they discovered 32 motor insurance policies bought using the same method

The Greater Manchester Police assisted City of London Police with multiple search warrants, leading to several arrests across a two-day operation

A criminal gang have been sentenced for conspiracy to defraud insurance company 1ST CENTRAL and money laundering offences, after each claimed refunds on several car insurance policies that were originally bought with compromised bankcards. 11 members of the gang were sentenced in December 2017, while the remaining two were sentenced on Tuesday 30th January 2018.

Following an investigation by the City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED), with assistance from the Greater Manchester Police (GMP) and insurance company 1ST CENTRAL, all of the people pleaded guilty in October 2017.

The fraud was initially brought to light when the acquirers for 1ST CENTRAL identified two unusually large refunds for two motor insurance policies paid into the bank account belonging to Mr Mughal, both bought with a compromised bankcard.

Fraudster's method uncovered

They notified 1ST CENTRAL on 5th June 2015, who then conducted their own internal investigation and discovered 32 other motor insurance policies that were also purchased using compromised bankcards.

Further investigations by 1ST CENTRAL revealed that a few days after the motor insurance policies were first purchased, each person then bought additional cover for the policy, but this time using a different, legitimate bank card belonging to them.

The person claiming to be the policyholder then requested for the policy to be cancelled and the full refund made onto the legitimate bankcard, which was used to purchase the additional cover. In total, over £95,000 worth of insurance policies were refunded into bank accounts in the names of the 13 people involved.

IFED detectives seize bankcards and statements

After their internal investigation, 1ST CENTRAL referred the case to IFED in June 2015.

On 15th and 16th September 2015, IFED investigators conducted a joint operation with the GMP and executed search warrants at 12 addresses in the Greater Manchester Area. A number of bankcards and bank statements were seized and a number of people were arrested. GMP assisted IFED detectives and provided extra officers and use of their facilities across the two-day operation.

After the search warrants, the remaining nine people presented themselves to police by voluntary attendance and were interviewed, leading to all of their arrests.

City of London Police’s Detective Constable Alex Nimako, who led the investigation for IFED, said:

“This is a fantastic result – the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department’s hard work in this case has helped bring these fraudsters to justice and stopped them from stealing thousands of pounds.

“Recognition must also be paid to 1ST CENTRAL Insurance and the Greater Manchester Police, who both provided vital assistance throughout the investigation.

“This should hopefully serve as a warning to anyone else who is participating in this type of criminal act – you will get caught and you will be dealt a fitting punishment.”

A spokesperson for the Greater Manchester Police, said:

“GMP is committed to working with other law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute individuals who seek to profit from crime – an excellent result."

Andy James, UK CEO at 1ST CENTRAL said:

“The outcome of this case is an example of the excellent and successful collaborative work of IFED and the 1ST CENTRAL counter fraud team, in detecting and pursuing insurance fraudsters. We take an uncompromising stance towards fraudsters at 1ST CENTRAL, underlining our commitment to protecting genuine customers from the impact of fraud.”