An insurance agent who sold fictitious insurance policies in order to pocket thousands in commission fees has been handed a 12 month suspended sentence.
The fraud was uncovered by the insurance broker he was working for and details were passed to officers in the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED), part of the City of London Police, to carry out a criminal investigation.
Bandagu Manzeke of Hornsey, London, was sentenced on Wednesday 30th March to 12 months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years, ordered to carry out 120 hours of unpaid work and to pay £6,590 in compensation – effectively to pay back the money he gained.
Between July 2014 and March 2015, whilst Manzeke was working for Eunisure as a self-employed agent, he submitted 30 insurance policies using false names, addresses and details. For each policy incepted, Manzeke would receive a commission payment, with Manzeke pocketing just over £7,200 from the ruse.
The fraud came to light when many of the policies Manzeke arranged were cancelled. Under the agreement with the insurers, the commission earned from the policies is paid back if the policy is cancelled within two years.
When the policies were scrutinised by Eunisure, managers found that fraudulent details had been entered, with Manzeke even using his own address on some of the false policies. When confronted, he admitted to falsifying the policies, but said that he’d repay Eunisure the £7,200 he’d gained from the scam.
However, after paying back only £700, and with no sign of any further money forthcoming, Eunisure referred the case to IFED officers. Manzeke was interviewed by officers where he admitted that he had come into financial difficulties and fabricated people’s details on many of the policies submitted, whist others had not agreed to the policy.
Manzeke was summonsed to court to face the charges of fraud by abuse of position and pleaded guilty before being sentenced as above.
Financial Investigator Simon Styles, from the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department, who carried out the investigation said: “As an agent working for an insurance broker, Manzeke should have known better than to think this would go unnoticed. He tried to use his position to make a quick profit, but thanks to the diligence of Eunisure, the fraud was uncovered and he now has to pay back the money and carry out unpaid work.”
Ralph Mortlock, Managing Director at Eunisure said: “There is an extremely small minority of agents who think it is ok to operate in this way and submit false policies in order to profit from the commission fees. We felt it was important to take a stand in this case by referring it to IFED and send a strong message that there are serious consequences for any individuals looking to defraud insurers and brokers in this way.”