Prison sentence for chicken shop owner convicted of fraud


Authored by Allianz

A policyholder who presented a claim for fire damage to his business has been convicted of fraud after pleading guilty to giving insurers a false statement about his involvement in the fire.

Following a fire at the fast-food restaurant chain on Alcester Road South, Kings Heath, Birmingham on 1 April 2018, the business owner and our policyholder, Mr Mohammad Suleyman (now aged 34) who lived in Handsworth, Birmingham at the time of the incident alongside his brother Mr Mohammed Yusuf (now aged 33) who lived in Hockley, Birmingham at the time of the incident, both pleaded guilty to fraud and arson respectively after appearing at Birmingham Crown Court on 19 March 2024.

Sentencing took place on 2 April 2024 where Mr Suleyman was sentenced to three years and seven months for fraud by giving a false statement. Mr Yusuf, who pleaded guilty to arson, was sentenced to four years and six months.

Following Mr Suleyman’s claim submission, which was estimated at £280,000 in late September 2018, concerns were raised over the validity of the claim and the cause of the fire, as both Mr Suleyman and Mr Yusuf had visited hospital with burn injuries to Mr Yusuf on the date of the fire, at which time they were arrested by West Midlands Police.

Allianz were also managing the landlord’s claim, where a forensics report had been requested for their comments surrounding the cause of the fire. After reviewing the forensic report, which stated that the fire was ‘almost certainly started by perpetrators who broke in’ further investigations into the events were instigated by Sedgwick, one of Allianz’s appointed claims management and loss adjusting companies.

What followed to bring the case to court was a continued liaison between Sedgwick and West Midlands Police. Mr Suleyman’s witness statement regarding the events leading up to the fire included being held at gunpoint, with Sedgwick being advised Mr Yusuf sustained the burn injuries from working on a vehicle.

Both Sedgwick and West Midlands Police believed that Mr Suleyman’s version of events and motives were of concern. With enough evidence in hand, charges were brought against both Mr Suleyman and Mr Yusuf which resulted in their prison sentences.

James Burge, head of counter fraud at Allianz Commercial commented on the outcome: “This is a fantastic result for us. The collaboration between Sedgwick, the Police and us, brought Mr Suleyman to justice and it highlights the lengths that dishonest claimants will go to – and the hard work that we continue to do to bring them to account.”

Ian Carman, Director, Head of Forensic & Investigation Services at Sedgwick commented: “This case demonstrates that there really is no hiding place for insurance fraudsters. The combined investigative efforts of Allianz, our commercial investigations team and the West Midlands Police evidence how seriously insurers take their duty to tackle the dishonest minority. I’m pleased that our deployment of highly specialised investigative resource was able to produce such a positive result for the industry and their honest customers.”


About Allianz

Allianz Insurance is one of the largest general insurers in the UK and part of the Allianz Group,  a leading integrated financial services provider and the largest property and casualty insurer in the world.  

The mission of Allianz Insurance is to be the outstanding competitor in our chosen markets by delivering products and services that our clients recommend, being a great company to work for and achieving the best combination of profit and growth. We aim to achieve this by putting the customer at the heart of everything we do. 

Allianz is able to offer customers a wide range of products and services including home and motor and commercial insurance with full range of products and service for sole traders' right up to large commercial organisations.  

Allianz Insurance employs over 4,500 people across a network of 20 offices in the UK and the company’s Head Office is situated in Guildford, Surrey.  Our heritage and financial strength help make Allianz what it is today; a safe and trusted partner. Over 40 FTSE100 companies partner with Allianz.  youTalk-insurance sharing Allianz Insurance news and video


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