Eight men from Merseyside have been exposed for fabricating a car crash in an attempt to con more than £500,000 in fake injury claims from UK insurer
Brian Williams, Michael Lee, Jon-Paul Realey, David Thompson, Robert Davies and three other men admitted making up the ‘accident’ and then submitting bogus claims to LV=.
Williams and Lee were jailed while Realey, Thompson and Davies received suspended jail terms following an investigation by the City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED).
Williams had reported to his insurer how in January 2010 he was driving his Vauxhall Vectra along a Birkenhead Road with three passengers in the car when he skidded and crashed into a BMW X5.
LV= was informed there were also four people in the BMW at the time of the ‘incident’, the driver Lee and three passengers – Realey, Thompson and Davies.
The eight men subsequently submitted claims to LV= for whiplash type injuries, while Williams and Lee also sought payment for their written-off cars. On top of this Lee claimed for car hire replacement costs at 250 per day. There were also claims for recovery and storage fees from a claims management company, Car Logix.
However their scam started to fall apart when a forensic examination of the vehicles revealed that the damage sustained could not have been caused by the collision described to the insurer.
Moreover, during a medical examination one of the men stated the ‘accident’ occurred in the afternoon while the others said it took place in the evening.
The case came to IFED’s attention when the unit launched in January 2012. Detectives subsequently arrested one of the men, while the other seven voluntarily attended a police station for interview.
On examining Lee’s finances detectives found he had £12,500 debt outstanding on his BMW and his business bank account was also £12,000 overdrawn.
The attempted fraud came completely unstuck when the three men who said they had been in Williams’ Vauxhall admitted they had not been involved in any accident and that their claims were fraudulent. They were subsequently given police cautions.
Williams, Lee, Realey, Thompson and Davies were subsequently charged with and pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation.
Earlier today (Monday 15 September 2014) at Liverpool Crown Court, the following sentences were given:
- Williams, 47 = eight months in jail.
- Lee, 51, of Bolton Road, Wirral = 12 months jail time.
- Realey, 27 = eight month jail term suspended for 24 months and 250 hours unpaid work.
- Thompson, 52, of Cambridge Road, Wirral = eight month jail term suspended for 24 months and 250 hours unpaid work.
- Davies, 57, of Dickens Avenue, Wirral = eight month jail term suspended for 24 months and a 12 month supervision order.
The other three men who admitted making up the ‘accident’ and submitting fake claims were each given a police caution.
DI Dominic Parkin, Deputy Head of IFED, said: “These eight men thought they could take LV= for a ride by completely making up a two-car smash on a Merseyside road and then submitting huge claims for their supposed injuries, funds for two new cars and expenses from the ‘accident’.
“However, their story soon fell apart when put under the microscope by the insurer and IFED with the end result being two of them are now behind bars and the other six now have a criminal record. What may have seemed a bright idea at the time will now cast a shadow on all their lives for years to come.”
Martin Milliner, LV= Claims Director, commented: “Fraudulent claims push up insurance premiums for innocent motorists and at LV= we take a hard line on fraud by investigating all suspicious claims and we push for the toughest sentences for those plead guilty to fraudulent activity. We hope that the result of this particular case sends a message to other fraudsters so they think twice before committing this type of crime.”