Members of a fraud gang from Walsall dodged imprisonment after a court gave them suspended sentences for setting up an insurance scam with fictitious claims estimated to be worth half a million pounds.
The City of London Police said Nagman Aftab, Rameez Ajaib, Moheen Akhtar and Nabeela Begum took out fraudulent motor insurance policies and made fictitious claims that were sold on to solicitors’ firms.
The fraudsters sold the bogus insurance claims through claims management companies they had set up, according to the police. The solicitors’ firms paid the gang referral fees for what they thought were genuine claims.
In total, the gang was responsible for instigating fictitious insurance claims valued nearly at £500,000 and defrauded solicitors’ firms in around the Walsall area out of more than £45,000.
Aftab, Ajaib, Akhtar and Begum were charged with conspiracy to defraud with the last three also slapped with money laundering charges. All four pleaded guilty to the offences and were sentenced at the Old Bailey on September 16.
Aftab received a two-year jail term while Akhtar and Begum were sentenced to imprisonment of 18 months and up to two years, respectively. Each of the verdicts was suspended for two years.
Ajaib, meanwhile, was only sentenced to two sets of 100 hours of unpaid work within the next 12 months.
The large-scale scam was first uncovered in April 2012 after a fraud investigator at Esure
spotted a suspicious motor insurance claim, which led the insurer to identify more than 20 false policies linked to the gang.
Police officers later pieced together evidence that showed how the group conspired to defraud the insurance companies and solicitors that took on the bogus accident claims.
The police discovered that the group had taken out policies with other insurers including AXA
and Haven, with the earliest frauds dating back to March 2011.
“This was a well-organised criminal group that set out to defraud both insurers and solicitors on a considerable scale,” said Oliver Little, detective chief inspector at the City of London Police’s insurance fraud enforcement department.
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