A 33-year-old courier from Epsom, Surrey, is facing a possible prison term after admitting that he set up over 100 fraudulent car insurance policies.
Renan Gomes has been ordered by Guildford Crown Court to pay back £17,000 within three months or spend nine months behind bars.
According to the City of London police, Gomes set himself up as an unauthorised insurance broker between November 2013 and March 2015. Many of his clients were from the Portuguese community living in and around the Epsom and Surrey area.
Gomes set up 133 fraudulent policies through local adverts and word of mouth. His scheme came to light after Liberty Insurance noticed that the policies were created using the same bank accounts, all of which belonged to the ghost broker.
He was arrested in March 2015 after authorities linked 79 policies that he had set up with Liberty.
Police officers discovered that Gomes opened the policies and provided false details, such as home addresses, to get his clients cheaper premiums.
Further investigations found that Gomes pocketed around £70 to £100 in fees from his victims for every policy he opened. He made a total of £10,000 from his racket.
Detectives also found 133 payments from his accounts to insurers, while losses to Liberty Insurance were valued at £79,000.
“This was a calculated crime which left people out of pocket and a much bigger number of road users unwittingly exposed to the negative impact of driving without insurance,” said Ben Fletcher, director of the Insurance Fraud Bureau.
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