Posted on 13th April 2018
The scam operated in and around Alvaston in Derby between 2011 and 2013.
This is the second case of a ‘Cash for Crash’ conspiracy in Derby that has been prosecuted in the space of a year. The previous one saw another gang of eleven people jailed in April 2017.
Cash for Crash collisions are staged to make fraudulent and exaggerated insurance claims for vehicle damage, personal injury, and other 'costs'. The money is often used to fund more serious crimes.
Five people pleaded guilty and a further six were found guilty of conspiracy to defraud, following two trials at Derby Crown Court. The trials started on the January 15, 2018 and the final guilty verdicts were given on April 12, 2018.
Another defendant pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of Fraud by False Representation in relation to exaggerating the damage caused to his vehicle.
Detective Constable Andrew Small, who led the investigation, said: “This was a complex case which started in May 2013 and was investigated by our Fraud Investigation Team.
“During the two-and-a-half year investigation, more than 100 people were interviewed as suspects or witnesses.
“There appears to be a worrying mind-set in some people that insurance fraud is a victimless crime, and is morally acceptable. The people that are intent in getting involved need to realise that everyone who has an insurance policy is a victim of this crime.
“I hope this investigation shows that any allegation made about insurance fraud will be taken seriously and fully investigated. You should anticipate your claims to be investigated by your insurance company and reported to the police if it is suspected to be fraudulent.
“We certainly welcome the guilty pleas and verdicts given in this case.”
The suspects who were deemed by the Crown Prosecution Service to be the most culpable in the scam were charged with conspiracy to defraud in February 2016.”
One of the defendants, Shazad Ali (42) of Frederick Avenue, Alvaston, was at the top of the hierarchy of the conspiracy. He pleaded guilty to his involvement in the scam on March 23 this year.
Ali had referred his partner Amanda Ho (49), his step son Ashley Ho (25) (both of Frederick Avenue, Alvaston) and his step-daughter Amy Ho (29) of Stanley Road, Alvaston for personal injury claims.
All three of them had claimed to be involved in at least two of the collisions. They were all found to be guilty after trial.
DC Small continued: “The investigation centred round personal injury referrals that Shazad Ali had made to a firm of solicitors in Alvaston.
“As a result of the personal injury and vehicle damage claims, the insurance companies paid out, or placed in reserves more than £250,000.”
Jason Potter, Head of Investigations at the Insurance Fraud Bureau said:
“It’s clear that Shazad Ali was the leader of this highly organised gang that was solely motivated by greed.
“Insurance fraud scams like this might seem like victimless crimes, but we estimate ‘Crash for Cash’ costs the industry £336m per year and ultimately it is premium-paying motorists who foot the bill.
“Insurance fraud is a serious crime and one that will not go unpunished, so we’re pleased that this long and complex investigation has resulted in guilty verdicts.”
The other members of the gang included Mark Knowles (43) of Beaconsfield Street, Long Eaton, Stacey Bailey (29) of Birkbeck Close, Derby, Mark Woodward (38) of Booth Street, Derby, Anzard Brown (40) of Prestwick Way, Derby and Kevin Hall (28) of Beaufort Street, Derby.
Others found guilty at trial included Sophie Harrison (24) of Wye Street, Alvaston and Lisa Monk (49) of Rochester Close, Alvaston.
All those convicted will be sentenced on Friday, May 4 at Derby Crown Court.
More information about ‘Crash for Cash’ scams can be found at www.insurancefraudbureau.org