On the 10th August 2017 Joel Mtebe, 30, of Watford was given an eight month suspended sentence, 200 hours of unpaid work and a compensation order of £2,000 for making fraudulent claims for missing laptops, cameras and jewellery totalling £12,069.
The City of London Police's Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED) was contacted by the insurance group, RSA in September 2014 about eight fraudulent home insurance claims encompassing six policies. Following the original referral, a further five claims were submitted that raised the concerns of RSA. All 13 claims were made between February 2014 and March 2015.
The RSA became concerned when it was discovered that the claims all initially used the same Reading address as the claimant's address. There are five flats within the building that were listed for different claims. While other Reading addresses were subsequently used, they were in fact all linked back to the initial claims by phone numbers and bank accounts.
Most of the claims were also made for laptops and bags that had been left on trains or in taxis, along with other claims for cameras and jewellery. RSA identified Mtebe as an occupant of one of the flats in Reading and several claims were made to RSA and one other insurance company using Mtebe's name or derivatives.
In March 2015 Mtebe was interviewed by IFED. He admitted submitting completely fictitious claims to RSA in order to receive money. Mtebe stated he was in financial hardship at the time and trying to provide for his partner and young son.
A bank account registered to Mtebe was used on a total of eight claims. The bank has provided bank statements to IFED which show the £12,069 from RSA being paid into Mtebe’s account.
Following Mtebe's initial interview in March 2015, RSA submitted evidence to IFED of seven further policies linked to Mtebe. As a result attempts were made to re-contact him for a voluntary interview, however these attempts were unsuccessful and Mtebe was listed as wanted on the police national computer. Police found that Mtebe was planning to fly out of the UK on 10 January 2017 and he was subsequently arrested and interviewed at Heathrow Airport later that day. In his second interview Mtebe admitted being involved in the seven additional RSA claims and to providing his bank account details for the successful claim monies to be paid into.
Mtebe was charged on 13 June 2017 with fraud by false representation.
Detective Sergeant Matt Hussey of the City of London Police's Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department said: "The sheer number of fraudulent claims made by Mtebe over a period of many years shows that he fully intended to continually deceive the insurance industry. Having detained him at Heathrow we were able to prove his guilt and the co-operation of RSA with IFED has resulted in his sentencing here today."
John Beadle, UK Head of Financial Crime & Counter Fraud, RSA:
“RSA has a zero tolerance towards fraud in order to better serve the vast majority of our customers who are honest. People tempted to commit fraud against us should be aware that we will pursue them and will cooperate with the police to ensure they are brought to justice."