Man jailed for £75,000 worth of bogus travel insurance claims
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A man from Liverpool has been jailed after using the identities of people he knew in an attempt to submit over £75,000 worth of bogus travel insurance claims.
Joshua Moorcroft, 27, of Moss Gate Road, Liverpool, made 15 claims with six different insurance companies for missed or cancelled travel. He used various excuses to substantiate his claims, such as injury or disruption due to the Covid-19 pandemic. One of the targeted insurers, Aviva, suspected that the claims were fraudulent and referred the case to the City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED) for investigation.
Moorcroft was sentenced to 16 months imprisonment at Liverpool Crown Court on Monday 22 August 2022. He previously pleaded guilty to 15 counts of fraud by false representation at Liverpool Magistrates Court on Monday 25 July 2022.
Detective Constable Justin Hawes, from the City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department, said:
“Although Moorcroft immediately admitted to the first five offences when interviewed by IFED, he wasted police time by denying that he had submitted any other claims. A review of his devices found that this was certainly not the case, and that he had in fact orchestrated a further 10 bogus claims.
“Moorcroft has shown very little regard in terms of who he has implicated whilst committing these crimes, including his family, former colleagues, partner, and even her family. I don’t doubt that he has put all of these innocent parties through a lot of stress by doing so. Hopefully this result will force him to reflect on his actions and the impact they have had on those around him.”
Moorcroft took out a multi-trip worldwide travel insurance policy, underwritten by Aviva, in October 2019. Nine days after the cover commenced, Moorcroft submitted a claim for a missed flight from Manchester to New York, reporting that his taxi broke down on the way to the airport due to an exploded tyre.
Around two months later, Moorcroft made another claim for a missed flight. He alleged that he did not make his flight from Manchester to Qatar because he had been involved in a road traffic accident on the way to the airport. To substantiate his claim, Moorcroft provided a screenshot of an email which was supposedly from one of the police officers who attended the scene.
Three claims were then submitted in February 2020, relating to missed trips on account of Moorcroft having surgery on a fractured hand. Moorcroft claimed that he had been forced to cancel two upcoming trips to Dubai and Las Vegas, as he was not able to travel until the pins from his surgery had been removed. He provided a number of documents to support this, including documents from the travel company and his local hospital.
Aviva enquired with the travel company about the booking to Dubai. The company confirmed that they had no record of this booking. Moorcroft was challenged by Aviva about this, but could not provide an explanation.
Further checks found that Moorcroft had requested quotes for these holidays in 2018, but did not complete the bookings.
This information prompted the insurer to look into the earlier claims for missed flights. The police force, which had supposedly attended the scene of the accident, confirmed that the email from one of their officers was fake.
cating that these claims were fraudulent, Aviva then referred the case to IFED for further investigation.
Moorcroft was arrested by IFED at his partner’s home in October 2020, where officers seized multiple pieces of evidence, including a phone and laptop.
When questioned by officers, Moorcroft admitted full responsibility for the five claims. He was asked if he wished to disclose any further offences, but said that there were no other fraudulent claims.
The unit then examined the seized devices, which uncovered a further ten claims with Aviva and five other insurance companies.
These claims related to multiple trips to Dubai, Barbados, Los Angeles, Rhodes, Tenerife and Turkey, which were cancelled for a number of reasons such as the Covid-19 pandemic, redundancy and injury. Unlike the previous claims which were all in Moorcroft’s name, the fraudster used the names of people he knew to take out policies and submit bogus claims. These included his partner, his partner’s parents and former work colleagues.
One of these claims was made in his partner’s name for a trip to Barbados, which was cancelled due to her supposedly being made redundant. A signed letter was provided by her employer to support the claim, who was subsequently contacted to check the authenticity of the letter. The company director revealed that he had never employed anyone with this name, but that he did know the person as it was the girlfriend of his cousin, Moorcroft.
During a follow-up interview with IFED officers, Moorcroft admitted to the further claims found on his devices.
Carl Mather, Manager, Special Investigations Unit at Aviva, commented on Moorcroft’s sentencing:
“Aviva welcomes the sentencing of Joshua Moorcroft, which underscores the serious nature of insurance fraud. As a business, we value our customers and go to great lengths to reduce the impact that claims fraud has on policy premiums – particularly at a time when so many are facing real financial challenges.
“The Court has recognised the “serious and cynical” nature of Mr Moorcroft’s offending and he is also the subject of a Proceeds of Crime investigation which is aimed at identifying and seizing recoverable assets on behalf of Aviva.
“Mr Moorcroft’s greed has now left him with a criminal record, a tarnished reputation and an uncertain future. Aviva will continue to invest in counter fraud capability and is resolutely committed to safeguarding honest customers by taking positive action whenever fraud is detected.”