Far Out Friday: Insurance cheat ‘raced supercars’

by Annette Whitfield 15 May 2015

Far Out Friday: Insurance cheat ‘raced supercars’

A man suspected of fraudulently cashing in on his income protection insurance policy with claims he had Myalgic Encephalopathy (ME) was found out by his prolific social media postings which revealed he actually had a passion for racing ‘supercars’ in Cyprus.

Christopher Parkin (41) had made a claim to the Cirencester Friendly Society two months after taking out an income protection insurance policy, the Daily Mail reported.

The steelwork draughtsman said he could not work, had no hobbies or pastimes and was living with his parents in Badsworth, West Yorkshire because his marriage had broken up and his wife and children had moved to Cyprus.

The claim was rejected but Parkin complained to the Financial Ombudsman Service which was upheld and resulted in a payment of over $40,000 being made.

Parkin then made another claim saying he had chronic fatigue syndrome, a claim which was also upheld by the Ombudsman after initially being rejected.

This time, however, the Society began court action and got investigators involved.

Barrister Peter Hamilton told the High Court in London that 1,000 pages of postings on online forums made by Parkin between June 2007 and 2012 revealed a picture of a man who was active, well and addicted to his hobby of modifying his Noble supercars and driving them fast both on the roads of Cyprus and back in the UK.

In many of his postings Parkin said he lived in Cyprus, he talked about his wife in terms suggesting they were actually together, and also referred to cannabis use and the work he had done.

Judge Richard Seymour, who said Parkin had told a ‘load of lies’, ordered him to repay the $40,000 to the Cirencester Friendly Society plus interest, as well as stinging him with an interim payment of $400,000 towards a $700,000 costs bill.

The judge added: “Nemesis overtook him most dramatically because, like so many people nowadays – particularly those who seem minded to perpetrate frauds, he seemed incapable of keeping off the internet and sharing the true nature of his activities through social media,” the Daily Mail reported.

“I am satisfied it is appropriate for me to rectify the injustices perpetrated by the misleading of the Ombudsman resulting in the awards made,” he said.