Law firm DWF has won a ground-breaking fraud case on behalf of its client, motor insurer Markerstudy, where two men have been imprisoned after being found in Contempt of Court for their involvement in a 'crash for cash' scam.
It is believed to be the first time that a court has sentenced to prison both a fraudulent 'claimant' and the alleged driver of the 'decoy vehicle' used in the scam.
The attempted fraud was foiled by the immediate suspicions of Markerstudy's policyholder, whose actions after the incident not only helped ensure that the insurance company did not have to pay these fraudulent claims, but helped convict both men.
The incident took place on a roundabout in Bradford, when the motorist followed two vehicles, a Vauxhall Astra driven by Mohammed Iqbal and a Toyota Avensis that was subsequently found by a High Court Judge to have been driven by Kasim Javed. The two vehicles were travelling side by side when the Avensis suddenly sought to undertake the Astra, drifting into its lane. However, the Astra’s driver performed an emergency stop, resulting in a collision.
The Insured was concerned that he may have been the victim of a 'crash for cash' scam and after exchanging details, drove to an address in Bradford eventually given to him after Mr Iqbal tried to give a false address in Nottingham. When he arrived there, he saw the same Avensis that had undertaken the Astra parked outside Mr Iqbal's address. He then called the police and whilst on the phone, Mr Iqbal's Astra arrived and parked near to the Avensis.
Once the defendant contacted his insurer Markerstudy, the company began investigating the accident as they had also received claims for personal injury, credit hire and vehicle damage from Mr Iqbal.
At the High Court in Manchester, Sir Alistair MacDuff found that both Mr Iqbal and Mr Javed had conspired together in an attempt to defraud the Insured and his insurer, Markerstudy.
Committal Proceedings were pursued immediately after that trial and Justice Dingemans at hearings on 25th and 26th June 2019 sentenced Mr Iqbal to 10 months imprisonment and Mr Javed to two months imprisonment.
Allan Peak, Head of Technical Fraud at Markerstudy said, “This is an excellent example of both the effectiveness of the industry’s fraud awareness campaign and the diligence on the part of our customer. Because of the policyholder’s awareness and quick thinking, we have been able to detect this attempted fraud, ensure the perpetrators have been justly punished and helped to protect the public in general from the dangerous menace of crash for cash scams.”
Benedict Harper of DWF’s Fraud and Financial Crime Team said: "The incredible actions of the Insured led to the insurance company being able to identify the 'decoy' vehicle, which is extremely rare, and the two men responsible being behind bars. Crash for cash scams put innocent members of the public in danger. We are pleased that Justice Dingemans, and the Court generally, has taken the actions of these fraudsters very seriously."