Tue, 26 Jul 2011
SCAMSTERS plotted to cheat insurance companies out of £100,000 with a string of staged and ‘ghost’ traffic accidents.
Using damaged vehicles bought from salvage yards, Burton ringleader Shabir Mohammed recruited family and friends to claim for phoney injuries like whiplash.
In one staged-managed accident, a stolen Mini pulled out in front of a car transporter which could not avoid a rear-end shunt.
Another bogus claim involved a written-off Toyota Shabir bought from a scrap yard in Doncaster and insured under false details. Shabir recruited his sister, Nabila Kousar, and her husband, taxi driver Iftikar Hussain, to be the injured occupants from a ‘mythical accident’.
The couple and eight ‘willing lieutenants’ — all from the Burton area — were jailed, although three women, including Nabila, had theirs suspended because they have young children.
Judge Michael Challinor told all 10: “Each of you were prepared to lie on claims forms for your own ends, for accidents that had not occurred and injuries not sustained.
“The overall monetary loss would have been somewhere in the region of £100,000, but there is also the damage to the integrity of the insurance system.
“This type of fraud is difficult to detect. This impacts on ordinary motorists, who see their premiums rise inexorably.
“The message must go out that people who involve themselves in this large-scale, bogus insurance fraud will receive prison sentences.” The claimants included Lee Rankin, owner of Swadlincote Motors, son Craig and daughter Amy.
Others were Shabir’s then partner, Sarah Wheeldon; Craig Rankin’s girlfriend, Gemma Chisholm, her brother, Liam, plus Kelly Tunks, a friend of Amy Rankin, and Claire Blouddyn, girlfriend of coconspirator Asif Khan.
The scam was discovered during police raids on Shabir’s home and his business on Swadlincote industrial estate in November 2009.
Three claimants received personal injury payments — Nabila £1,950, her husband £1,800 and Amy Rankin £3,500 for ‘whiplash’.
Some got cold feet when faced with more forms or medical examinations, while other claims were stopped because of police intervention.
All admitted conspiracy to defraud.
Click to view the profile for Mark Heywood - Prosecuting