A cash-for-crash scam run in Durham by a 60-strong gang was so effective that it pushed up motor premiums for local drivers by £100, the BBC reports.
The 60 people involved either admitted guilt or were found guilty in hearings that had been taking place at Newcastle Crown Court since last March.
News of the scam’s impact has emerged following the lifting of a reporting ban on the court proceedings.
Police told the BBC that the fraud meant motorists in the Derwentside area were typically paying an extra £100 a year for insurance.
Durham Police uncovered the scam while investigating the activities of members of the Wright family of Burnhope, the BBC said.
Members of the gang would stage accidents by slamming on their brakes at junctions in a bid to make the driver behind crash into them.
The gang members and their passengers would then claims compensation for whiplash injuries.
The gang also controlled a car recovery company based in Craghead, County Durham called PJ Autos. The company would charge insurers for removing damaged vehicles frm the crash sites. It would also charge them for hire cars.
Police found that PJ Autos had invoices showing that one car was hired out to four different people at the same time.
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