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Four men sentenced for 'crash for cash' scam

Four men have been sentenced for their part in a so called 'crash for cash' fraud.

The men were identified after police received a report of a minor collision occurring on the Birmingham Road near to the junction with Red Lane, just outside Kenilworth.

The victim was driving a Land Rover Discovery along the road when two vehicles stopped unexpectedly in front of him and he collided with the back of one of them, a Vauxhall Astra.

Three of the offenders got out the car claiming that they were injured. 

The victim contacted police concerned that the incident had been staged and that he was the victim of a so called 'crash for cash' scam.

Saood Khan, aged 26, of Couchman Road, Birmingham, Benjamin Hamula, aged 26, of Chestnut Road, Oldbury and Wasim Riaz, aged 26, of Maryland Avenue, Birmingham all made subsequent fraudulent claims to an insurance company for damage to the vehicle and injuries.

Police identified another man, Amar Husain, aged 26, of Couchman Road, Birmingham who assisted in the submission of the fraudulent claims.

All four were sentenced on 9 June.

Hussain pleaded guilty to fraud and was sentenced to 15 months in prison and ordered to pay £340 in compensation, £100 victim surcharge and £1000 costs.

Khan pleaded guilty to fraud and dangerous driving. He was sentenced to one year in prison for the fraud and eight months in prison for dangerous driving to run concurrently. He was also ordered to pay a £100 surcharge and disqualified from driving for 18 months.

Hamula was found guilty and sentenced to one year in prison suspended for two years, ordered to carry out 300 hours unpaid work and ordered to pay £404 compensation, £120 victim surcharge and £2000 costs.

Riaz was found guilty sentenced to one year in prison suspended for two years ordered to carry out 300 hours unpaid work and ordered to pay £404 compensation, £120 victim surcharge and £2000 costs.

Detective Constable Rachel Priestly said: "These four men put the safety of the victim and other road users at risk for personal gain and they were lucky that nobody was hurt. We welcome today's sentencing and hope it sends a warning to others who are thinking of carrying out a similar scam."

The investigating was carried in partnership with the Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB). Ben Fletcher, Director of the IFB, said: "All too often we see innocent members of the public being targeted by crash for cash gangs like these. The public need to be extra vigilant when driving on the roads and report any suspicions they have to the Cheatline. These gangs are sophisticated and will try anything they can to exploit money from the system. 

"Fraudsters are fuelled by greed and have little regard for the impact they have on others. Not only are they putting road users at risk of injury but crash for cash has significant costs associated to it. We estimate it costs the industry £336m per year, and it is premium-paying motorists who ultimately foot the bill."

The Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) is an organisation which acts as a central data hub for the insurance industry to detect and disrupt organised motor fraud and works by developing insurance fraud cases for the police forces to investigate and take enforcement action where necessary.

The Cheatline is a free service that enables the public to anonymously report information or suspicions about insurance fraud by calling 0800 422 0421 or reporting online at www.insurancefraudbureau.org/cheatline.

People can also contact the police on 101. Alternatively, information about suspected scams can be provided anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or via www.crimestoppers-uk.org

 

Posted by Sam Cook, Operational Communications Officer

Published 15/06/17