Fraudster jailed after conning Liberty

A fraudster has been sentenced to 16 months in jail after setting up more than 100 false car insurance policies.

Renan Gomes set himself up as an unauthorised broker before taking out 133 fraudulent policies, using false details to get lower premiums. That left his customers completely uncovered.

The fraud came to light after Liberty Insurance spotted a high number of policies being set up using the same banks accounts, all of which belonged to Gomes. The details were passed to the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED) in February 2015 and detectives linked 79 policies that Gomes had set up with Liberty.

Detective Constable Eva Woods, from IFED, said, ‘Gomes set himself up as an unauthorised insurance broker and sold policies that were absolutely worthless to people who often didn’t speak English. The warning here is if you get yourself insurance through an unlicensed broker like Gomes, then the likelihood is that you’ll be left without valid cover.’

The investigation found that Gomes was providing false home addresses or forged no claims certificates to get his clients cheaper premiums than they were entitled to. On top of the £10,000 in fees he pocketed, detectives also found 133 payments from his accounts to insurers and losses to Liberty Insurance were estimated to total £79,000.

Deirdre Ashe, director of personal lines, Liberty Insurance, said, ‘We welcome this successful prosecution and recognise the significant efforts made by our Special Investigation Unit, working in collaboration with the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department.

‘This sentence should send a clear message; we’re committed to aggressively tackle all forms of insurance fraud and will thoroughly investigate all aspects of policy and claims suspicions; and should you commit fraud it is increasingly likely that you will be caught and prosecuted.

‘Insurance fraud is a serious issue for the industry; we will continue to invest in the prevention and detection of fraud to protect our genuine customers and keep premiums affordable.”