Fraudster targeted several insurers and made multiple false insurance claims
As a former insurance call handler, the man also abused his position to manipulate claims and steal £7,779
He added fictitious car hire services to genuine claim records and diverted the payments into his own bank account
For one of the claims, he adopted a Birmingham accent to disguise his identity from colleagues he used to work with
He used the money he stole to pay for expensive hotels and trips to Alton Towers and Madame Tussauds
On Wednesday 18th July 2018 Jack Burton was sentenced at Manchester Crown Court for making nine fraudulent claims against several insurers including Aviva, RSA, Allianz and Direct Line Group. He also pleaded guilty to abusing his position as an insurance claims handler at AXA, stealing £7,779.
Following an investigation by the City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED), Jack Burton, aged 27, of Trafford, Manchester, was sentenced to 12 months in prison.
Reports of fraudulent insurance claims
IFED were first made aware of Burton’s fraudulent activity in July 2017, when Aviva suspected fraudulent insurance claims had been made against a policy under his name and a company that was linked to him called Jabur Holding Ltd.
In the following months, IFED officers made enquiries across the insurance industry about Burton, and it was discovered that he had also made fraudulent claims against policies he had incepted with Direct Line Group, RSA and AXA.
Between December 2016 and April 2017, Burton made seven claims against these policies for theft, loss or damage to various items, including a MacBook Pro, a Cannon camera and an i-Pro camera.
To substantiate his various claims, Burton provided photographs for the allegedly stolen items, as well as invoices he had altered. He was also abusive with insurer call centre staff to try and force the claims through, and even adopted a Birmingham accent to disguise his identity, as he feared that he would be recognised by call centre staff who he previously worked with.
The man abused his position
As a result of investigating these various claims, IFED officers also found that Burton worked as an insurance claims call handler for AXA between 2015 and 2016. AXA had concerns about his conduct during his term of employment and a review was carried out.
From this investigation, it was revealed Burton used his position to manipulate genuine claims for his own personal gain. He processed payments for 10 genuine motor insurance claims; but added car hire services to these claims that the customer didn’t require and had never asked for. He would then divert the payment for these services into his own bank account.
Adding car hire services for customers making motor related insurance claims is not unusual and therefore Burton’s actions did not arouse suspicion.
Burton was arrested in November 2017 in relation to his suspected fraudulent activity, and was subsequently interviewed at Swinton Police Station. He fully admitted to all of the offences put to him and stated that he committed fraud because he was heavily in debt and couldn’t cope financially.
However, analysis of his bank accounts revealed that these fraudulent funds were not used to relieve his debts. Instead, Burton was using the money to pay for electrical goods, hiring expensive cars, staying in expensive hotels in Manchester and London, and visiting places such as Alton Towers and Madame Tussauds.
Discovery of additional claims
As a result of Burton’s interview and a review of his bank accounts, two further fraudulent claims were identified. One of these was against Allianz, with Burton using a fake name to incept a policy and make a fake claim worth £1,057 for alleged tools stolen from a parked vehicle.
The other claim was submitted to RSA in relation to a genuine burglary that Burton was a victim of. Burton stated that a number of items had been stolen worth £1,890, including a Mac Book Pro, a Sony Camera and £260 in cash, when in reality the only property actually stolen was some DVDs.
Burton was interviewed again in February 2018 in relation to these newly discovered claims and similarly to his first interview, he fully admitted to the offences. In respect of the total of nine fraudulent claims, three were paid out, worth £3,132.
City of London Police Detective Sergeant Matt Hussey, who led the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department's investigation, said:
“Burton had a good knowledge of the insurance industry and he used this knowledge, as well as his position, to steal money from his employer and other insurers.
“The insurers involved in this case provided valuable support during our investigation, and with their help Burton has been brought to justice for his deceitful and fraudulent actions.”
Tom Wilson, Counter Fraud Manager at AXA Insurance, said:
“Burton’s fraudulent activities were prolific, taking advantage of his employment at AXA as well as a number of other insurers. We are thankful to IFED and all the other insurers that worked together to ensure he was brought to justice. I am pleased Burton admitted to all of the offences and the case was able to progress quickly.”
Tom Gardiner, Head of Fraud, Aviva, said:
“We are very pleased that Aviva detected Burton’s fraudulent activity in the first place; and went on to avoid all his claims and work closely with IFED and other insurers to end Burton’s fraud and abuse of his position of trust. This case shows that no one is out of reach, and insurers have very effective mechanisms for working together to stamp out and prosecute insurance fraud; and ensure there are consequences to fraudsters. Burton is now out of work and a lot worse off, not better off, as a result of his fraud.”
Mark Chiappino, Counter Fraud Manager at Direct Line Group, said:
"Mr Burton attempted to deceive multiple insurers across the industry for his own gain, by making fraudulent claims against multiple policies. Following our investigation, the findings were subsequently passed over to the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department for further investigation. During this investigation the true extent of Mr Burton's fraudulent operations were discovered. Mr Burton's sentence should serve as a stark warning to those who seek to commit insurance fraud in the future.
"This is a great example of the insurance industry working together for the benefit of all honest customers, by sharing insight in order to catch and bring fraudsters to justice. Burton's actions are not only illegal and dishonest but do a massive disservice to the excellent job the vast majority of the UK's insurance claims call handlers do for their customers."