Two men who made bogus claims for whiplash injuries suffered in a road traffic collision they were not even involved in have been handed two-month prison sentences suspended for 18 months.
Mohammed Ishaaq and Ahmed Mohammed Sheikh made personal injury claims to 1st Central Insurance in March 2011 claiming they were back-seat passengers in a car that collided with a lorry in Birmingham two years earlier in February 2009.
Their claims contradicted a statement from the car owner which said only he and his wife were in the car at the time of the collision.
1st Central reported the claims to the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED), operating out of the City of London Police, for investigation in January 2012. Two months later, detectives travelled to Birmingham to arrest Ishaaq and Sheikh and later charged them with fraud by false representation.
IFED DC Michael Jones said: “Ishaaq and Sheikh thought they could make some easy money by falsely claiming to have suffered injuries in a road traffic collision.
“Unfortunately for them the diligence of the insurer combined with our quick-fire investigation exposed their fraud and has left them with a criminal record.
“There is still a public perception that making bogus claims to insurance companies about accidents, ill-health or stolen property is somehow acceptable. These sentences are evidence of how IFED is changing this culture.”
27-year-old Ishaaq, of Gibson Road in Birmingham, who had previously pleaded guilty to the fraud, was also ordered to undertake 80 hours unpaid work and pay £1,000 compensation to 1st Central.
43-year-old Sheikh of Gladstone Road in Birmingham, who was found guilty of fraud, was also handed an 18-month supervision order.
1st Central director of fraud Glen Marr said: “1st Central welcomes the action taken by the City of London Police Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED), which follows evidence supplied to IFED by 1st Central.
“1st Central have zero tolerance of any form of insurance fraud. We have invested heavily in countering fraud at point of application and claim, and our investment continues. 1st Central are now able to rapidly identify on a daily basis suspicious activity and take decisive action, which includes referring cases to IFED seeking prosecutions of fraudsters.
“Phantom passenger claims are one type of personal injury fraud encountered by insurers and we hope that this latest sentencing will reinforce to fraudsters, that they will be detected, their actions will not be taken lightly and that there are very real personal implications for committing fraud against insurers.
“We will continue to robustly tackle all forms of insurance fraud and refer matters to IFED, as part of 1st Central’s commitment to driving down the cost of motor insurance for our genuine customers.”
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