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#359369 - 21st Oct 2009 8:51pm 'Crash for cash' scam man jailed

'Crash for cash' scam man jailed

A 24-year-old man has been jailed for four-and-a-half years after admitting his part in a 1.6m "crash for cash" conspiracy in Greater Manchester.

Mohammed Patel deliberately caused at least 93 car crashes in three years, each costing insurers about 17,000.

Patel, of Nottingham Drive, Bolton, admitted a number of charges at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court.

He charged 500 a time to stage accidents, which enabled car owners to claim for bogus damages from insurers.

Luxurious holidays

Patel forced a number of low speed crashes by braking suddenly, often at roundabouts, so the driver behind would crash into the back of him.

Claimants - who owned the cars Patel was driving - demanded compensation for personal injury, courtesy cars and legal fees at the expense of the other party's insurers.

As a result of the conspiracy he earned about 46,000. But the cost to the insurance industry was huge, the court heard.

William Baker, prosecuting, said the earnings funded luxurious foreign holidays and expensive cars for Patel and his unemployed girlfriend Ettorina Hay.

The court heard the scam was exposed by suspicious office workers who overlooked the Eden Point roundabout - favoured by Patel for his crashes - on the A34 at Cheadle Hulme, Stockport.

Mr Baker said staff had noticed "one vehicle colliding with another at low speed with minor damage, and often the same person driving the lead vehicle".

"They told drivers of the rear vehicles they thought they were the victim of fraud," he added.

Patel pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud, six counts of dangerous driving and four counts of driving while disqualified between May 2005 and August 2008.

He was arrested days after he was observed staging two crashes in one day, Mr Baker told the court.

After his arrest he gave a prepared statement to police and pleaded guilty to the charges at the earliest opportunity.

Patel paid 46,000 into his girlfriend's bank account and when police searched her home in Kirkby Road, Bolton, they found it full of expensive furniture and electrical equipment.

A 10,000 second-hand Mercedes coupe and a 14,000 Lincoln Navigator were also in her name.

The pair enjoyed trips to Turkey, Barcelona and France, the court heard.

Mr Baker said Hay "enjoyed a much higher standard of living than she would have experienced living on benefits of 90 per week".

Hay, 29, admitted one count of converting criminal property and one count of possessing criminal property and will be sentenced on 18 December.

Judge Bernard Lever told Patel that his "was not a victimless crime" and he had given no thought to the potentially serious psychological and physical impact on his victims.

The judge said that only a "significant" custodial sentence would send out the message about his "disgraceful and dangerous" behaviour.

Investigations were initially carried out by AXA insurance, one of the companies affected by the scam, which passed on its findings to Greater Manchester Police.

Sgt Mark Beales, who led the inquiry for GMP's Specialist Operations Branch, said: "Patel was prepared to put lives in danger to make money.

"I have no doubt that people driving on the roads of Greater Manchester are safer with this individual behind bars.

"This abuse of the insurance claims system has implications for all law-abiding road users."

'Lives at risk'

A number of other defendants, who have been convicted of conspiracy to commit fraud, are also awaiting sentence.

Patel was also banned from driving for three-and-a-half years.

Speaking after the hearing, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) said that staged motor accidents were a "serious crime".

"These frauds put innocent lives at risk and push up the cost of motor insurance for honest customers," said Nick Starling, the ABI's director of general insurance.

The UK Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) is currently investigating 28 similar suspected operations around the country.


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#359373 - 21st Oct 2009 8:56pm Re: 'Crash for cash' scam man jailed [Re: ]
Sanchez Offline

Wiki Veteran

Registered: 17th Dec 2003
Posts: 8019
Loc: my house
Ha, serves him right the dickk
Uncertainty or not knowing causes depression, Im happy because I know I'm going to die one day!

#359383 - 21st Oct 2009 9:06pm Re: 'Crash for cash' scam man jailed [Re: Sanchez]
Wiki Master

Registered: 29th Aug 2008
Posts: 19050
Loc: Bob Land
Greedy barstard. Worked once so he milked it. [censored]-did he not realise-obviously not-that the offce workers wud spot him? [censored].
Mia Mabel

#359415 - 21st Oct 2009 10:21pm Re: 'Crash for cash' scam man jailed [Re: RUDEBOX]
Shadow_Omega Offline

Wise One

Registered: 29th Apr 2009
Posts: 871
Loc: Leasowe
i hope every bit of cash gets strapped from his pockets thiefing c*&^ wonder if he's illegal as well?

#359429 - 21st Oct 2009 11:07pm Re: 'Crash for cash' scam man jailed [Re: Shadow_Omega]
hoseman Offline
Forum Master

Registered: 30th Sep 2007
Posts: 2346
Loc: Bromborough
This happeed to mate of mine as he was driving down the express way in Runcorn.
A battered escort pulled right in front of him and slammed on, four `Asian` lads inside complaining of back and neck pains. No witnesses and he got screwed by his insurance, hes self empoyed engineer, family and kids in these hard times for some.

Thieving fooking scum of the earth, jails too good for them, make them be real crash test dummies!!



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