A crash for cash gang found guilty of deliberately causing a crash including one near Kenilworth have been sentenced to a total of just under five years in prison.
The four individuals were convicted of Fraud by False representation for their part in the fraud following a week-long trial back in May.
The gang had ventured onto public roads with the sole intention of deliberately crashing into innocent and unsuspecting members of the public, putting people at a very real risk of serious injury.
One crash took place just outside of Kenilworth on the A452 Birmingham Road, at the junction with Red Lane.
Wasim Riaz, from Birmingham, was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment, suspended for two years and 300 hours of community service.
Benjamin Hamula, from Olbury, was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment suspended for two years and 300 hours community service.
Amar Hussain, from Birmingham, was sentenced to 15 months imprisonment and Sahood Khan, also from Birmingham, was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment for fraud and eight months for dangerous driving to run concurrently. He was also disqualified from driving for 18 months.
The Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) was originally contacted by Warwickshire Police with intelligence of suspected induced crashes taking place in and around the area.
Working closely with the police, IFB provided support to review seized documentation that the gang used to submit multiple claims to insurance companies for fake injuries, vehicle damage and solicitor costs.
Ben Fletcher, director of the IFB, said: “This investigation between Warwickshire Police and IFB highlights to would-be fraudsters that the risks of being caught and prosecuted are very real and they face the prospect of heavy fines, a criminal record and imprisonment, with potentially restricted access to financial services for the rest of their lives.
“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.”
This sentencing brings to the conclusion a case which brought IFB to its landmark 500th conviction milestone since being set up back in 2006.
The IFB leads the insurance industry’s fight against fraud, using sophisticated software to analyse and detect suspicious patterns of behaviours.
It works closely with the police and other regulators to crackdown on fraud and protect honest premium-paying motorists by ensuring fraudsters are brought to justice.
Members of the public can play their role in fighting back against ‘crash for cash’ scams and other types of insurance fraud by reporting what they know to the Cheatline.
Powered by Crimestoppers, 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.
All information provided to the Cheatline is treated in the strictest confidence.