Staged crash fraudsters convicted

Two men have been found guilty of staging a car crash to put in fraudulent claims to Aviva. The men were spotted by a member of the public, who contacted the police.

The case was referred to the City of London’s Police Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED), and when police interviewed the pair both men pleaded guilty. They have subsequently been sentenced to four months imprisonment, suspended for a year.

The crash was staged in November 2014, when Sam Borbely parked his car and got out, before Luke Gaughan then drove into it in a number of times in his van. However, a member of public saw them and contacted the police. Both men admitted staging the crash and were told that claiming on insurance would be fraudulent.

Despite that, both men contacted their insurers over the coming days, with Gaughan making a claim to Insure The Box. When that claim was refused Borbely then tried to claim against his own policy with Aviva.

Detective constable Gary Kearly, IFED said, ‘This was a brazen attempt by Borbely and Gaughan to defraud their insurers and get their vehicles repaired or replaced at their expense. Even when they were effectively caught in the act, it still didn’t put them off pursuing the claim. Thanks to the diligence of the officer from West Yorkshire Police, the false claims were quickly identified and we were then able to pick up the case and charge them with the fraud.’

Inspector Alan Rhees-Cooper from the Keighley Neighbourhood Policing Team added, ‘It is not an offence to deliberately damage your own property. Therefore when the two individuals admitted to PC Peter Brown that they had deliberately driven one vehicle into another, they had not committed a criminal offence.

‘However, the officer suspected that they had a criminal motive and intended to defraud their insurance companies. Despite warning them not to attempt to do this, they went ahead anyway.   Unfortunately for them, PC Brown decided to diligently make further checks afterwards and alerted the insurance companies to this potential scam which ultimately led to their arrest. This was excellent police work.’

Tom Gardiner, head of fraud at Aviva, said, ‘Unfortunately, some people continue to believe that insurance fraud is acceptable and that they won’t get caught. This case highlights the level of commitment and collaboration across the industry to fight motor fraud. We believe our customers are fed up with the plague of fraudulent motor claims in the UK, and we will continue to be tough on fraud and prosecute offenders to keep premiums low for innocent motorists.’

Adrian Steele, group claims director for Insure The Box Limited said, ‘Insure The Box takes a tough line on fraud. We’re committed to using our telematics expertise to halt fraudsters in their tracks and to protect our honest policyholders. Sadly, this is one of many staged accidents we encounter, but we are pleased IFED has driven this case to its conclusion – it sends out a strong message that insurance fraud is a crime and can have serious consequences for the individuals involved.’