Criminal clergyman bishop jailed for insurance fraud

Insurance-fraud-Bishop-sentenced-to-jail-at-Leeds-Crown-Court

The man fabricated crashes involving his car and his partner’s car to make false insurance claims.

He bought insurance policies using personal details of two people from his local community, and imitated them on the phone.

He knew details of one of the cars as he’d helped the person buy their vehicle.

A Bishop in Leeds has been jailed after he used the details of two people in his local community, and imitated them on the phone to insurers, to make fraudulent claims for fabricated car crashes.

On Friday 10th May 2019 at Leeds Crown Court, Charles Motondo, of Leeds, pleaded guilty to three counts of fraud by false representation and one count of money laundering. He was subsequently sentenced to 10 months in jail.

The City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED) launched an investigation after a referral from the insurance company First Central raised suspicions that Motondo had tried to make a fraudulent claim.

IFED discovered that Motondo had contacted First Central and fraudulently bought an insurance policy using the details of a person in his local community. A few days later he called First Central, pretending to be the policy holder, and said that he’d crashed his Vauxhall Corsa into a parked Range Rover and took full responsibility.

The parked car belonged to Motondo, who subsequently contacted First Central, this time as himself, and made a claim for the damage and the cost of a hire vehicle.

However, a number of inconsistencies were uncovered in Motondo’s claim and it was eventually repudiated. A forensic engineer stated that the Corsa couldn’t have caused the alleged damage to the Range Rover, due to the height difference of the two cars. On top of this, it was revealed that the damage caused by the alleged accident was the same as on the Range Rover’s most recent MOT failure.

IFED also discovered that the Corsa couldn’t have been involved in the alleged accident as at the time it was stored in a yard at the rear of a church, which was later identified as where Motondo delivered his sermons.

Further IFED enquiries revealed that Motondo used the same method a few months earlier to make another fraudulent claim for a made up collision against Mulsanne Insurance. On this occasion he pretended his partner’s Jaguar, as well as his Range Rover, had also been involved in the alleged collision, in order to increase the value of the claim.

Motondo also tried to make an injury claim for a phantom passenger, but this was rejected by Mulsanne Insurance after they found out from First Central about his other fraudulent activity.

The person whose details Motondo had used for this fake claim told IFED that the accident never took place and that the car wasn’t ever insured. They also revealed that Motondo had helped them buy their car.

Before he pleaded guilty, Motondo claimed he’d helped the people involved buy their insurance policies and said he believed it was a coincidence that both of these people had subsequently crashed into his and his partner's vehicles.

IFED identified one other fraudulent claim by Motondo, which he’d instigated by calling his insurer Aviva and stating that he’d been involved in a collision that was his fault. As he and his partner aren’t married and don’t share the same name, he contacted Aviva again, this time pretending to be her husband and made a claim on her behalf for repair costs to the Jaguar.

Detective Constable Jamie Kirk, who the led the investigation for IFED, said:

“Despite being a Bishop, Motondo was completely immoral in his actions, and had no issues using other people’s personal details to make fraudulent claims so that he could make a financial gain.

“Motondo may have thought a person of his standing wouldn’t get questioned by insurers or the police, but today’s conviction shows that nobody is above the law and that anyone who commits insurance fraud will be brought to justice.”

Paul Twilley, a claims director at Mulsanne Insurance Co. Ltd, said:

“This investigation is an excellent example of the insurance industry collaborating to investigate and defeat an individual who attempted to defraud a number of insurers with a web of deceit involving fraudulently obtained policies which were set up to facilitate false claims. Mulsanne is extremely pleased to have been able to assist the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department’s detectives in bringing the offender to justice.”

Jonathan Guy, Chief Claims Officer, First Central said:

“Using intelligence by First Central and working with another insurer to obtain further evidence, our claim investigations team found Charles Montondo had made a fraudulent claim after it featured several fraud indicators. A referral to the City of London Police was subsequently made.

“We have a range of analytical systems designed to safeguard existing customers and detect potential fraudulent behaviour, while also providing regular training to our employees regarding indicators of fraud. The vast majority of claims are legitimate and settled, however, several hundred claims are detected as fraudulent each year and challenged. First Central actively seeks to maintain relationships with other insurers to share information as required, to quickly and efficiently obtain evidence and ensure fraudulent claims are dealt with accordingly.”

Tom Gardiner, head of fraud, Aviva UK General Insurance, said:

“This case is a shocking abuse of position, but shows that insurers and police have effective mechanisms to work together to ensure that those who seek to profit from insurance fraud are detected and brought to justice – and that no one is out of reach.

“Insurance fraud is a crime and pushes up premiums for honest customers. So we welcome today’s sentencing, which should serve as a strong deterrent to anyone thinking of committing insurance fraud: it doesn’t matter who you are, if you commit fraud, it’s now very likely you will be caught and prosecuted.”