Fraudster sentenced after he hired camper van to make £22,500 theft claim


The man lied to police and his insurer that his camper van had been stolen

He hired a camper van and pretended it was the one he’d reported stolen

He took photos of it with his own registration plate to substantiate claim

A man has been sentenced after he lied to police that his camper van had been stolen and then took pictures of a hired one to support a fraudulent theft claim worth £22,500.

Following an investigation by the City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED), Levi Loveridge, 24, of Heybridge, Essex, pleaded guilty to fraud by false representation at Inner London Crown Court on Monday 17 December 2018. He was sentenced on the same day to 10 months' imprisonment, suspended for two years, and was given 250 hours of community service and ordered to pay £700 in court costs.

Loveridge began his fraudulent activity on 5 April 2016 when he lied to Essex Police and reported his camper van as stolen.

A day later Loveridge submitted a claim to LV= for the alleged theft, and to substantiate his claim he provided them with proof of ownership, stating it was worth £22,500. He also sent them a number of photos that he’d taken of the vehicle, and the registration plate number in the photos matched the one on the ownership documents.

However, when LV= got in contact with the previous owner of the vehicle with this registration number, he confirmed that it wasn’t registered to the camper van in the photos but actually belonged to a different one that he’d sold to Loveridge for £800. It wasn’t drivable and Loveridge even needed a low loader when he went to collect it.

LV= also examined the photos of the camper van submitted by Loveridge and found one on a hire company website which looked identical. They contacted the company who confirmed that the camper van was theirs and that Loveridge had hired it out on 1 March 2016.

The company’s policy is to put a tracker on all of their camper vans in case they’re stolen when hired, and it showed that Loveridge stopped for a period of time at a National Trust property in the Peak District. IFED visited the property and confirmed that this was the location where the camper van was in the photos submitted by Loveridge.

City of London Police’s Detective Constable Daryl Fryatt, who led the investigation for IFED, said:

“Loveridge’s false theft claim was planned from the start, but LV= helped to expose his trail of deceit, making the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department’s part of the investigation much more straightforward, leading to his eventual punishment.

“While some people may think that insurance fraud is victimless, fraudulent claims like the one seen in this case costs the industry billions each year, which in turn adds to the price of premiums for everybody who buys insurance.”

Clare Lunn, LV= Fraud Director, said:

“Our anti-fraud teams work tirelessly to root out false claims, given the circumstances we’re pleased with the result. Fraudulent claims can result in increased premiums for honest customers as a by-product of the work involved in fighting them, which is why LV= always presses for the toughest possible sentences.”