Car insurance fraudster jailed

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A car rental firm owner who made £65,000 selling invalid car insurance to motorists across the UK was jailed for two years at the Old Bailey yesterday.

Jeffrey Derek King had earlier been found guilty of acting as a ‘ghost broker’ and laundering money, following an investigation by the City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED).

The 30-year-old posed as an insurance broker, advertising ‘cheap’ and ‘temporary’ car insurance on Gumtree under the name Richard Dean.

He called insurer RSA more than 50 times, under different aliases, between 2011 and 2013 saying he had bought new a Volvo or Ford, taking out insurance which included seven days free cover.

King then changed the details on the insurance policies and sold them on at a profit to drivers who had responded to his Gumtree advert, with the insurance being immediately invalid because misinformation had been given to RSA at point of sale.

He provided his victims with a fake policy document to give further credibility to his scam.

The fraud was uncovered in 2012 when RSA discovered 50 policies linked to an identical mobile telephone number. The insurer referred the case to IFED, which launched a criminal investigation.

This telephone number linked to website which was registered to King’s parents’ home in the Wanstead area of London. This led detectives to King’s home on High Road in Chadwell Heath, where he was arrested in June 2013.

Detectives subsequently discovered two bank accounts which he had had his victims pay money into before he immediately withdrew it in cash.

The investigation team believe King attempted to make some of this money appear to come from a legitimate source by using it to buy cars for his rental business.

King was subsequently charged with, and found guilty of, three counts of fraud by false representation and one count of money laundering.

An Old Bailey Judge handed him six months jail time for the first count of fraud by false representation, six months for the second, 15 months for the third and two years for money laundering all to run concurrently.

DC Mohammed Darr, who led IFED’s investigation, said, ‘’Ghost brokers’ cost the insurance industry millions each year, inflate motorists’ insurance premiums and put an untold number of drivers unknowingly into the role of law breakers as soon as they get behind the wheel with no insurance.

‘King being put behind bars provides further proof that selling invalid car insurance is a crime with consequences and that IFED and insurers will not rest until the perpetrators are brought to justice.’

IFED’s financial investigation team has undertaken financial confiscation proceedings against King to recover money he made through his ghost broking scam with a view of returning it to his victims.

Adele Sumner, head of fraud intelligence and strategic development at RSA, said, ‘The fraudulent scheme King set up was disgraceful and we are pleased with the sentence he has received. King was acting as a fraudulent insurance advisor which resulted in several people driving uninsured on UK roads, putting innocent victims in harms way. Protecting customers and ensuring they do not become victims of fraud is something we take extremely seriously and we will continue to tackle this issue and fight against fraud.’