In a rare victory against fraud, a serial conman was sentenced to 18 months at Snaresbrook Crown Court yesterday, after making a bogus insurance claim about crashing his fake Ferrari.
The incident occurred on 12th September 2014, when Adam Islam, of Southwold Drive, Barking, Essex, crashed his Toyota MR2, which was dressed up to look like a Ferrari F430, into his friend’s hired Audi A1, after both were driving recklessly.
Knowing their driving would void their insurance claim for the damages, Islam claimed he didn’t know the driver of the Audi, Abu Khayer, and that his fake Ferrari had broken down before being rear-ended.
As the at-fault vehicle was insured by the hire company, Abu would incur no personal cost for the claim, so the two fraudsters could split the hefty £29,000 insurance pay-out.
The claim was flagged as suspicious to motor fraud experts Asset Protection Unit (APU) by commercial law firm Hill-Dickinson after its fraud-detection Netfoil system discovered the conman had tried to claim a second credit hire car from a separate company following the accident.
With fraud not a priority for the Police, and the governing body, the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED), unable to get involved unless reported by an insurer or police force, APU investigated the incident.
The investigation was launched by APU’s team of former Police Officers, who quickly revealed the pair were long-standing friends after identifying several photos of them together on social media, also highlighting that Islam had recently failed to sell his car online for £30,000 to prompt further suspicion.
APU then teamed up with commercial law firm Hill-Dickinson LLP to launch a successful private investigation into the case.
Islam’s accomplice, Khayer, also received a 12 month custodial sentence suspended for two years, and was ordered to compensate Accident Exchange, his hire company, and its insurer, more than £10,000 in total.
The judge of the trial, HHJ Dawson, said: “Almost immediately after the crash, you [Islam and Khayer] both launched into a sophisticated fraud. This is not a victimless crime; we all end up paying more for car insurance. It also undermines the trust from insurance companies in the public, which causes delay in genuine payments. More fraud makes it more difficult for honest people to be paid.”
Neil Thomas, Director of Investigative Services at APU Ltd, said: “The sentence is a victory for both the insurer and motorists across the country, whose premiums are increased by these fraudsters.
“With motor fraud low on the radar of police forces, it’s important for us to step in, working alongside Hill Dickinson, and really lead the charge against these kinds of scams.”
Peter Oakes, Head of Fraud at Hill-Dickinson LLP, said: “By working together in partnership with our counter-fraud group, our cradle to grave approach has secured a great outcome for our client. This important case sends a powerful message to would-be fraudsters that their fraud will be detected and prosecuted.”
APU’s team of telematics and anti-fraud experts is increasingly utilised by police forces and insurance companies across the country, as police often lack the resources and skills to interrogate telematics data and package it into usable evidence in court.