Two men sentenced for staging crash

Two men who met and became friends in prison were yesterday (Thursday, 5 November) sentenced at the Old Bailey after staging a ‘cash for crash’ accident in order to claim over £16k on their car insurance.

Kais Bougoussa, aged 46 (1/5/69) from Stratford Road, E3 pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation at the Old Bailey on 13 October and sentenced to nine months imprisonment, suspended for two years and put on a two year supervision order.

Moez Chammeme, aged 36 (27/04/79) from Atlantic Wharf, Cardiff pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation at the Old Bailey on 11 August and sentenced to nine months imprisonment, suspended for two years and ordered to undertake 120 hours unpaid work.

On 27 September 2012, Bougoussa called Admiral Insurance claiming that he had been in a car accident on Kew Gardens Road in Richmond the day before whilst driving his Jaguar.

In his statement to Admiral Insurance, he stated that he had been driving at around 30mph when Chammeme pulled out of a side road in his Kia Sedona and collided with his car. He also mentioned that he had a passenger in the car with him.

He described Chammeme as an Asian man who he had never met before.

On 26 September 2012, Chammeme made a report to Ageas Insurance claiming that he had an accident at 20.30 whilst driving his Kia Sedona on Broomfield road in Richmond to see his family in London. He stated that he came out of a side road and collided with Bougoussa’s Jaguar.

He also described Bougoussa as an Asian man who he has never seen before.

Admiral insurers investigated and found that both men had in fact been housed at Littlehey prison at the same time and were both Tunisian nationals.

Following this revelation, Admiral instructed an engineer to inspect both vehicles. They found that there was overlapping damage on Bougoussa’s Jaguar indicating multiple impacts between the two vehicles. They also found that the damage to the Jaguar was consistent with it being stationery.

Investigators also found that Broomfield Road has an open junction with good visibility and it seemed unlikely that Chammeme would not have seen Bougoussa’s approaching Jaguar.

The case was referred to the City of London police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED) who made additional enquiries. Detectives found that both men were in the same cell block with cells opposite each other for 11 months between 18 February 2009 and 15 January 2010.

Records also show that Chammeme requested to send £100 in cash to Bougoussa’s wife in order to buy clothes for him.

It also transpired that there was no passenger in Bougoussa’s Jaguar at the time of the accident.

City of London Police detective constable Paula Doyle who led the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department’s investigation, said, ‘It is very clear from the evidence that Chammeme and Bougoussa planned and staged a ‘crash for cash’ accident so that they could defraud their insurers out of thousands of pounds for damages, personal injury, vehicle hire and other expenses.’

They thought they could trick insurers into believing that they were strangers without realising that their past together in prison would resurface.

‘This investigation is another example of the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department and the Insurance industry working together to bring criminals to justice and help reduce people’s insurance premiums.’

Susan Evans, head of claims fraud at Admiral Group, commented, ‘We are very pleased with the sentences handed down from the Old Bailey in this crash for cash case yesterday.’

‘The hard work of the IFED and the Admiral Fraud Department has resulted in these men rightly being brought to justice.’

‘The collaboration that we are seeing across the industry is now unprecedented. The work done by the IFB in successfully engaging  the public in reporting insurance fraud is helping insurers detect fraud earlier and more efficiently.’

‘IFED then undertaking the enforcement action is resulting in a coordinated response to these crimes.’

Kais Bougoussa was in prison after being jailed for three years in 2008 at Southwark Crown Court for sexually assaulting a woman in the back of his unlicensed minicab in central London.

Moez Chammeme was in prison after being jailed for eight years at Cardiff Crown Court in 2005 for attempted rape, false imprisonment and sexual assault of a female passenger in his unlicensed minicab in Cardiff.