Jailed fraudster who sold invalid car insurance through Ghost Broker to more than 100 motorists has had his ill-gotten gains seized
Razwan Iqba, the man behind a ‘ghost broker’ scam who was jailed for 12 months in July this year, has now been ordered to pay back almost £50,000. Iqba sold over one hundred car insurance policies to more than 100 Asian motorists in the Bradford and Leeds areas of Yorkshire.
Today, (13th November 2014) a Leeds Crown Court Judge ruled that failure to repay the money would see his prison term increased by 18 months. The judgement is likely to lead to Iqba having to sell his family home, car and another property to pay back the £48,975 he gained from his scam.
Iqbal had previously admitted posing as a car insurance broker – ghost broker -, operating under the company name ‘Direct Car’, advertising cheaper premiums in local restaurants and visiting customers’ homes to sell them his products.
The scam made Iqbal £45,000 and left motorists driving on the road without valid insurance. And even now, with the fraud exposed, his actions have resulted in some of his victims finding it extremely difficult to buy legitimate insurance after finding themselves blacklisted.
Iqbal obtained real insurance policies from five insurers using false personal details in order to get the premiums at a cheaper price. The 33-year-old then charged drivers more than the premium actually cost to buy, plus a handling fee, with the insurance being immediately invalid because misinformation had been given to the insurer at point of sale.
The scam was exposed in 2012 when 1st CENTRAL discovered 41 policies linked to an identical email address,. The insurer referred the case to the City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED), which launched a criminal investigation.
IFED discovered that some of the policies purchased from the insurers were paid for with bank cards belonging to Iqbal. Iqbal was arrested at his house on Upland Grove, in the Oakwood area of Leeds, in 2013 and later pleaded guilty to five counts of fraud by false representation and one of money laundering.
DC Jamie Kirk, who led IFED’s investigation, said: “Iqbal devised a car insurance scam that saw him pocket tens of thousands of pounds by specifically targeting members of his own community.
“He left his victims unknowingly out on the road with no insurance, exposing them and other drivers to risk and financial loss with seemingly no care for the potential consequences of his actions.
“However, the combined expertise of IFED and 1st CENTRAL have ensured that this threat to motorists has now been shut down with the person responsible taken off the streets and made to pay for his crimes.”
Glen Marr, Director of Fraud at 1st CENTRAL, commented: “1st CENTRAL’s fraud prevention defences successfully identified this ghost broker and we are pleased they have now been brought to justice.
“1st CENTRAL is committed to rooting out insurance fraudsters and takes an uncompromising stance with those concerned with such criminal activity.
“This case is yet another example of the highly successful collaborative work of IFED and the insurance industry to robustly tackle fraud. 1st CENTRAL will continue to work very closely with IFED in pursuing insurance fraudsters, ultimately to protect genuine insurance consumers from the cost of fraud.”