Fraudster handed custodial sentence

A ghost broker has been handed a suspended sentence of 16 weeks in jail for setting up false insurance policies.

The activities were uncovered by LV= and the City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED).

Apart from the suspended sentence, Daniel Toma Barbu, who is thought to have made £59,200 from the scam, must also complete 120 hours unpaid work within 12 months.

IFED explained that by setting up car insurance policies using addresses that were not linked to the policy holder, Barbu was able to register the policy holders’ cars to rural addresses with lower insurance premiums. The false policies were set up using Barbu’s bank details as well as unregistered email addresses and mobile phone numbers.

Detective constable Jamie Kirk said, ‘Ghost broking is a substantial problem that has seen Barbu take advantage of drivers looking to find cheaper car insurance deals. He has compromised the safety of people on the roads and we believe he profited from these actions. Ghost brokers must be stopped and the public need to remain vigilant in order to avoid falling prey to other fraudsters like Barbu.’

Clare Lunn, LV director of GI fraud, said, ‘We’re pleased that this fraudster has received a custodial sentence, which we hope will serve as a deterrent to others who believe they can deliberately misrepresent policy details.

‘The actions of ghost brokers can increase premiums for genuine customers and cause distress to those whose details are used. Customers using a broker should always make sure that they are reputable, as victims of ghost brokers will not only lose their money but also risk a criminal record for driving without insurance. LV will always push for the toughest sentences for those who are prosecuted.’