Fraudster who deliberately damaged own car sentenced
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A fraudster who targeted an innocent member of the public caught up in a minor road traffic collision was sentenced on Friday 5 February at Woolwich Crown Court.
Segun Amusa, 33, of Little Brights Road, Belvedere, damaged his own car after the accident, pocketing over £7,000 and potentially costing the insurer £25,000 as a result. Following a City of London Police investigation, Amusa was charged and subsequently pleaded guilty to three counts of fraud by false representation. He received an eighteen month custodial sentence suspended for two years on each count and proceedings will now commence to recover the funds paid out to Amusa.
Detective Constable Kevin Carter, who led the investigation for the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED), said:
“In spite of the glaring evidence presented to Amusa which corroborated his guilt, the audacious fraudster maintained during questioning that the damage had been caused during the collision.
“He even alleged that the victim was the dishonest party, implying that the van had been repaired in the time between the accident and inspection, as well as suggesting that the engineer reports were fictitious.
“It is quite clear that Amusa has no issues with incriminating innocent strangers and exploiting the system for his own financial gain, and for that he has been rightfully punished.”
On the evening of 16 March 2017, an innocent motorist was driving near the Dartford Interchange in Kent when a Mercedes ML 320, driven by Amusa, for no apparent reason deliberately and forcefully came to a sudden halt ahead of him. The abrupt stop caused the victim’s van to collide with the rear of the Mercedes, however the impact was minor, causing merely a light bump at almost stationary speed.
Amusa and the victim exchanged insurance details at the scene, with the former using a phone to photograph the damage to both vehicles. Whilst Amusa documented the incident, the victim noticed that the only damage to the Mercedes was just two small scratches on the rear passenger side bumper; the front passenger side headlamp on his own vehicle was slightly displaced and a small piece of the radiator cover was missing. Other than this, both vehicles had barely been impacted by the collision, and neither the victim nor Amusa contacted their insurer to report the incident.
Nearly three weeks later, the insurer of the victim, LV= General Insurance, received a ‘claim form notification’ from Amusa for damage to his vehicle, costs for a replacement hire vehicle and personal injury.
A damage report completed fifteen days after the accident disclosed that the car had sustained extensive damage to the rear. The ongoing cost of hiring a replacement vehicle and the two claims totalled over £25,000.
Upon assessment, the van displayed no signs of a forceful collision. A further inspection was carried out on Amusa’s vehicle, noting a major linear indentation running vertically along the rear panel. It was later concluded that this damage had been caused by reversing into a post or a similar object – a deliberate act of destruction carried out to substantiate the claims.
Investigations also flagged the initial report completed on behalf of Amusa had failed to include the photographs taken of his own car at the scene.
Matt Crabtree, Complex & Organised Crime Manager at LV= General Insurance, said:
“This is not the first time Amusa has tried to pursue what we believe to be fraudulent claims against the industry, so it’s great to finally see justice prevail.
“Fraudsters working in tandem to create accidents for financial gain are not only irresponsible, but also put innocent members of the public at risk – a crime which is frankly unacceptable. This sentence should serve as a warning to all would-be fraudsters that we will stop at nothing to bring those responsible to justice and will continue to work closely with IFED to achieve this."