A conman was jailed for six months today after duping a no-win-no fee solicitors’ firm out of £1,700 in a car insurance scam.
Imran Shah, 39, lied to lawyers telling them he wanted representation as he had been in a car accident and was seeking considerable damages.
In return for bringing them lucrative business, he persuaded the firm to pay him an up-front fee of £1,700.
Police investigated 17 other similar cases involving Shah but most of the lawyers’ firms refused to cooperate with officers.
In one case mentioned at his trial, Shah is said to have pretended to lawyers that he was a surgeon seeking a £500,000 damages payout.
The first 11 solicitors firms contacted by the police were unwilling to help with their investigation.
The twelfth firm detectives approached agreed to help though, admitting Shah had duped them into representing him when he falsely claimed he had suffered severe injuries in a car crash.
They paid him a total of £1,700 in up-front ‘referral fees’ before realising Shah, from Blackburn, Lancashire, had invented the story.
In an impact statement read to the court the head of Parmar & Co Solicitors said: ‘The defendant engaged with my firm over a period of time and deceived myself and my colleague into believing he was injured and we expended time and money seeing him.
‘He obtained the money by deception on two separate occasions. He also used the firm as a conduit to complex fraud, damaging the reputation of my business.
‘It was an embarrassment to me personally and my business. He was calculated, deceitful and remorseless.
‘He wasted valuable time and money of my firm which could have been spent helping genuinely injured and innocent victims.’
At Preston Crown Court, university-educated Shah – who used a number of false names – admitted fraud but escaped with six months jail with prosecutors stating his crimes may be ‘just the tip of the iceberg.’
The court heard the scam began after Shah took out an insurance policy on three cars for a firm he was said to be running called Corporate Security, based in Manchester.
Small business affected by enforced closures will welcome today’s announcement from the Supreme Court supporting their business interruption claims.
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