Fraudulent insurance claims handler ordered to pay £37k by court

An insurance claim handler who admitted to illegally passing on customer details to a law firm and adding friends and family to genuine claims was (14th November) ordered to pay back £37,000 by Liverpool Crown Court at a confiscation hearing.

Anthony Francis Joseph Rattigan, 31, was convicted of two counts of fraud by abuse of position and laundering after an investigation by the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED), part of the City of London Police.

He was sentenced on Friday, 6th May to 10 months’ imprisonment at Liverpool Crown Court for the fraud. If Rattigan fails to pay the money, he will serve an additional nine month’s sentence.

The fraud was initially uncovered by internal fraud investigators at RSA where Rattigan was employed as a claim handler. As part of his job, he was responsible for handling motor insurance claims involving their policy holders.

However, Rattigan abused his position to falsely add friends and family members as injured passengers onto genuine claims he was handling so that they would receive payouts. He also referred these claims and 37 others to a law firm that, in turn, gave Rattigan referral payments totalling around £25,500 between January 2012 and June 2014.

Rattigan listed his partner, brothers-in-law and various other friends and family members as being injured in collisions for which he was acting as the claim handler. He persuaded them to take part in the fraud and eight such claims were identified, with insurance payouts of over £29,000 in costs and compensation to the false claimants and solicitors.

The case was referred to IFED in June 2014 and Rattigan was arrested on 19th August, 2014 in Liverpool. When questioned, he admitted to convincing his friends and family to be included as ghost passengers on claims he was managing. Once he’d added them onto the claims, he referred the details on to the law firm, which wasn’t aware that Rattigan was employed as an insurance claim handler.

Rattigan then processed and settled the claims at the earliest stage, but RSA investigators looked into claims he was handling and the case was then passed on to IFED for criminal investigation.

Rattigan’s friends and family who were included as ghost passengers were also spoken to by IFED detectives.All of them admitted they had received payouts and were given police cautions as a result.

Detective Sergeant Matthew Hussey, from the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department, said: “Rattigan used his knowledge of the claims process and his position as a claim handler to submit the fraudulent claims so that he and his friends and family could profit – all at the insurer’s expense.

“He knew it was wrong to make referrals to the law firm, and he hid his occupation from them in order to go undetected, but thanks to the processes in place across RSA, his fraudulent activity was spotted. The case was then passed to us for criminal investigation and he is now facing the prospect of several months behind bars.

“It’s a very small minority that work within the insurance industry who look to commit fraud like this. Wherever we find evidence of this happening, we will work with the insurer and take the strongest possible action against those individuals.”

According to 2014 figures, the Association of British Insurers estimates that fraud adds, on average, an extra £50 to the annual insurance for every UK policyholder.