The man lied about details of stolen filming equipment to make inflated insurance claim
After initial checks by independent investigators, the man admitted that he’d exaggerated the claim
During a voluntary interview, IFED officers discovered that the man had altered invoices to substantiate inflated claim
On Monday 18th December 2017, a man was sentenced for making an inflated insurance claim worth more than £240,000, after he exaggerated the value of filming equipment stolen from him following a burglary.
Following an investigation by the City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED), Alex Markham, 40, of Manchester, pleaded guilty to fraud by false representation and was sentenced at Manchester Crown Court (Crown Square) to 10 months imprisonment, suspended for 12 months. He was given 235 hours unpaid work to be completed in the next 12 months and was also ordered to pay £340 for costs to the court and a victim surcharge of £140.
Claim submitted to insurers
On 4th May 2017, Markham reported the burglary at his storage unit to Greater Manchester Police, and a day later submitted a claim to his insurance company stating that a large quantity of film production equipment was missing, including three Sony PMW-500 video cameras, valued at approximately £17,000 each.
The insurance company instructed independent investigators to deal with the claim and Markham submitted supporting claims documents, including a schedule detailing the relevant stolen items, a quotation for replacement equipment and copies of the original purchase invoices correlating with the items stolen.
Man admits to exaggerating claim
However, after initial actions were undertaken by the independent investigators, Markham contacted them on 17th May 2017 and admitted that while he was the victim of a genuine burglary, he had lied about some of the items stolen so that he could make an inflated claim.
Markham’s initial false claim amounted to £248,482 but the true value of the property stolen was in fact £47,573.
In a voluntary interview with IFED officers on 25th October 2017, Markham also admitted that he'd used PDF software to amend details of the supporting purchase invoices to substantiate his exaggerated claim.
City of London Police Detective Constable Kim Negus, who led the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department's investigation, said:
“Markham thought he could get away with exaggerating his burglary claim, but he saw sense and admitted his crime. Thanks to the work of our Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department, the full extent of Markham’s actions were revealed and he has been dealt a fitting punishment.
“No matter what tough circumstances people find themselves in, they should never turn to crime in an attempt to better their situation. Crime never pays and ultimately you will be paying the cost.”