10 years of fighting insurance fraud: IFED key convictions, 2017-2021
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As the City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED) celebrates 10 years since its launch, we are looking back at some of the units key convictions in the past five years.
Six men were jailed for a total of 13 and a half years after abusing their professional roles, some as solicitors, to commit insurance fraud, defrauding victims out of £426,000. This was IFED’s first prosecution involving solicitors.
The gang came to light when one of the men made a claim on behalf of his wife, after her vehicle fell from a ramp when it was being repaired. The claim included the hire of a vehicle, which was later found to be on sale at a car dealership in Kent and not a hire vehicle at all.
A search in connection with this case uncovered a number of fraudulent medical claims and a wider network of criminals working together to defraud insurers. The group used fake invoices to claim for medical treatment following bogus road traffic accidents.
Two unconnected cases shocked the unit, as the team brought two women who shamelessly exploited the Manchester Arena terror attack to justice.
In September, an insurance company employee received a two-year custodial sentence for 31 fraudulent medical claims worth over £142,000, using the names of her friends, family and herself. One of the claims saw the woman allege loss of earnings due to her daughter sustaining multiple serious injuries in the terror attack and having to undergo two major operations. In reality, the woman did not have any children.
The following month, another woman was jailed for three years after IFED officers discovered 50 bogus claims totalling more than £175,000. The heartless fraudster claimed that she lost personal items when fleeing the terror attacks at Manchester Arena and London Bridge, as well as in the Grenfell Tower fire.
An IFED investigation led to the sentencing of a 16-person strong ‘crash for cash’ ring, which conned insurance companies out of almost £1.2 million. The group received a combined total of nearly 33 years in prison.
The joint operation with the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit (ERSOU) and the Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) revealed that the group used two different tactics to scam insurance companies. In some cases they would brake suddenly, causing the car behind to crash into them. In other incidents, members of the gang would crash into each other, away from any witnesses so that they could then put in a claim.
The investigation detected around 80 collisions in total that could be directly linked to the group.
An audacious fraudster was jailed for five years and seven months after he impersonated his female partner to try fake his own death for a £1 million life insurance pay out.
The initial email correspondence with the insurer stated that the man had died of a heart attack in Pakistan. However, the criminal’s guise was foiled when he attempted to continue impersonating his partner over the phone.
Alongside voice analysis suggesting this was in fact the allegedly deceased man, IFED officers also found his fingerprints on the medical certificate provided to the insurance company.
A trio of fraudsters were sentenced for their involvement in a number of insurance fraud plots valued at £245,000, orchestrated by a previous IFED convict.
The ringleader cloned a genuine claims management company in order to obtain referral fees from solicitors, as well as being behind more than 60 fraudulent motor insurance claims alongside two co-conspirators.
The money was used to fund a lavish lifestyle, purchasing a penthouse apartment in Gran Canaria and a number of ostentatious vehicles. The criminals’ spendthrift nature was also shown from photos found on phones, showing the head of the crime group’s pet dog covered in wads of cash.
The criminal network’s leader was jailed for four years.
For IFED’s key convictions from 2012-2016, click here.