The woman claimed compensation on behalf of six other people, for items lost on a university study trip
She claimed against the university’s insurance policy, which covers all students who are sanctioned to travel
City of London Police officers discovered that five of the alleged students didn’t go on the trip and hadn’t even studied at the university
On Friday (16th February 2018), a woman was sentenced after she claimed compensation on behalf of herself and six other students, for items that had allegedly been lost whilst on a university study trip to Venice.
Alison Ntim, 23, of London, was found guilty of fraud by false representation and for making or supplying articles for use in fraud, following an investigation by the City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED). She was sentenced at the Central Criminal Court to eight months imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, and was also given 150 hours community service and a 15-day rehabilitation requirement.
University study trip
Ntim studied interior design at the London Metropolitan University and as part of her degree, she went on a three-day study trip to Venice in November 2014. The travel policy that she made claims against was originally incepted by the university to cover all students who travelled on authorised study trips.
The insurance company for the university noticed some discrepancies with the majority of the claims, leading them to believe they were fraudulent and so referred the case to IFED.
A few months after returning from the trip, Ntim began making insurance claims for items lost whilst in Venice, the first of which was on 13 February 2015 for an iphone 5. IFED officers believe this was her only legitimate claim as she made it on behalf of herself and provided correct documentation to validate her claim, such as airline tickets to prove she did in fact go on the trip and a bank statement for proof of purchase.
Claims made on behalf of fake students
After this, Ntim didn’t make any more claims for herself. Over the succeeding months she instead claimed compensation on behalf of six other people, all of whom she claimed also went on the trip and studied at the London Metropolitan University.
However, after IFED officers investigated this with the university, they confirmed that only one of them had ever been a student. They were also in contact with the airline that the study trip was booked with and the airline confirmed that out of all the listed names, there was only one other person who had travelled on the flights to and from Venice.
How she made the false claims
For all six claims, which included a Cannon Camera, a laptop, an Apple Mac Book Pro, an iphone 6, an ipad Pro and a Breitling watch, totalling £14,090*, Ntim used the same method. Instead of hand writing the claim forms, which she did for her own claim, she opted to type it out, providing her own address and nominating her own bank account for receiving the compensation payment.
To validate each of the claims, Ntim provided her own boarding card for the flights, an email she’d drafted to the airline reporting the loss of baggage and a proof of purchase for the item that had allegedly been lost. Although, the proof of purchase for each claim was of a poor standard, and were often blurry, which meant the details were impossible to verify.
On 15th March 2017, Ntim presented herself to police by voluntary attendance and was interviewed, leading to her arrest. Out of the all the six claims, three had been paid into her account, while the other claims weren’t paid out by the insurer.
City of London Police Detective Constable Daryl Fryatt, who led the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department's investigation, said:
“Instead of using this study trip to help benefit her in her degree, Ntim saw it is an opportunity to try and exploit her university and deceive the insurance company. Not only did she use details of a fellow student to substantiate her claims, but she also made up five others.
“Through our investigative work, we were able to see through her lies and identify that she had made several fraudulent claims.
“As a former student, this should act as an important lesson to Ntim, and for anyone else who is thinking of making a false claim – it is a criminal offence and one that you will be punished for.”