The man worked with two other fraudsters, who were convicted earlier this year, to defraud a funeral plan company
The man used fake names, addresses and bank details to create fictitious customers and claim commission payments
Fraudulent mobile phone numbers were set up to be answered when the funeral company called the alleged plan holders
On Friday (16th February 2018), a man was sentenced for conspiring with two others to defraud a funeral plan company of over £120,000.
Following a five-year investigation by detectives from the City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Department (IFED), Tomasz Josef Borowski, 35, of Cheshire, was sentenced to two years imprisonment, suspended for two years, and given a curfew for three months from 9pm to 6am. After an eight-day trial at Liverpool Crown Court the jury returned a unanimous guilty verdict against Borowksi for conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation.
Details of initial fraud
Between 2013 and 2014, Borowski worked with fellow fraudsters James Conroy and Susanna Connor, who pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing and were sentenced in March 2017 for their involvement.
On top of the fraud they’d committed with Borowski against funeral plan companies, Conroy and Connor were also sentenced for several other counts of fraud against solicitor firms and insurers between 2011 and 2014 – along with two other accomplices, Adrian Michael Gate and John Norman Slater.
Conroy was an instrumental part of the fraudulent activity – he set up several claims management companies that would refer personal injury claims to other firms in return for a fee, when in reality, the claims were fraudulent and in the main completely fictitious, and never proceeded past the initial submission stages.
With the help of Connor, Slater and Gate, over £389,000 was paid into Conroy’s bank account in the form of referral fees. However, when a ban on referral fees came into place in April 2013, Conroy progressed onto commission fee frauds targeting funeral plan providers.
The man begins fraudulent activity
In December 2013, he set up a new company, called Information Station, and this is when Borowski became involved. He signed up as a sub agent with the funeral company under the banner of Information Station. In subsequent meetings Borowski stated that he had been brought on board in order to bring in customers from the Polish community.
Information Station and its agents were authorised to sell funeral plans on behalf of the funeral plan company to members of the public, but instead they used fake names, addresses and bank details to create fictitious customers. On every plan that was opened, Information Station and its “employees” Conroy and Borowski would earn a commission fee. The commission fees were paid into a bank account specifically set up for the fraud and controlled by Conroy.
During the investigation house searches were completed at the home of Conroy and Connor and paperwork relating to the funeral plan company was seized. Also recovered was a large number of mobile phones which were plugged in with labels and documentation attached to them which related to some of the fake funeral plan company customers. It was clear that they were answering the phones and pretending to be the different identities each phone number was attached to.
Funeral plan company develops concerns
Unsurprisingly, the funeral plan company soon started having issues with the customers Borowski had referred onto them. When a call was returned, their compliance team had concerns that the customer did not sound old enough as all the plans were for those above 50 years of age. There was also concerns that the same person was answering the calls pretending to be the customers.
The funeral plan company also started to receive calls from alleged customers who stated that they had received post in their details or even had direct debit payments taken from their bank accounts when they knew nothing about the plans and had never signed up to them.
Due to these concerns in late October 2014, the funeral plan company decided to cease their marketing agreement with Information Station and Conroy, Connor and Borowski.
IFED detectives arrested Conroy in 2014 for his initial fraud against the solicitor firms and insurers, and after they discovered evidence of the second fraud against the funeral plan company and had completed their further investigative work, Connor and Borowski were arrested in November 2015.
Detective Sergeant Matthew Hussey on behalf of IFED, City of London Police said:
“Borowski tried to deceive the judge and the jury, claiming that he was innocent, but thanks to the strong evidence supplied by IFED and the funeral plan company involved, they were able to see past his web of lies.”
“After five years of hard investigative work by the IFED detectives, the full extent of these multiple frauds has been uncovered and justice has been served to all of the fraudsters involved.”