Three London ghost brokers sentenced
Insurance fraudsters from east London who were involved in an elaborate ghost broking scheme have been sentenced to 57 months’ suspended sentences and 480 hours’ unpaid work for conspiracy to commit fraud.
The sentencing followed an investigation involving the Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB), its insurer members and the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).
Ajay Haque, 35, the mastermind behind the scam, received two years custodial suspended for 21 months as well as a nine-hour curfew in effect for six months.
Anik Dixit, 34, received 20 months custodial suspended for 18 months and 260 hours of unpaid work. Mohammed Nur Ahmed 33, received 17 months custodial suspended for 18 months and 220 hours of unpaid work.
The fraudsters, who previously studied at Westminster University, orchestrated an elaborate ghost broking scheme taking profits from their unsuspecting victims by selling them fraudulent insurance policies.
The trio operated under a limited company called AHD Solutions between June 2012 and August 2013 and went to great lengths to seem legitimate, conducting the scam out of a real office and even went so far as to employ someone on work experience at the fraudulent company, who had no knowledge of the scam and later became a key witness in the trial.
As part of the scam, AHD would advertise hire and reward policies and then add the minicab vehicle onto a trade policy. They would also issue seemingly legitimate policy documents. This meant drivers’ vehicles could be seized at any moment and their livelihoods compromised as a result.
In order to appear authentic, AHD Solutions were also using insurer esure’s name on its website. However, esure became aware of this copyright infringement and took legal action to prevent misuse of its brand in April 2013, going on to collaborate with the MPS and IFB in the wider investigation that followed.
While esure’s action was enough to stop the fraudsters trading as AHD Solutions, the corrupt trio then went on to set up a second business, Kab Insure, which was registered with fake director’s details to an address in Leicester.
As part of the investigation, IFB were able to link nine trade policies and 14 personal lines policies to the scammers, identifying 65 vehicles which they believed to be private hire vehicles with invalid policies. IFB passed the intelligence on to the MPS who obtained warrants and worked together to raid two addresses in east London where arrests were made.
The defendants were convicted at Snaresbrook Crown Court on 27 March of conspiracy to commit fraud. Mohammed pleaded guilty to the offence at a pre-trial hearing. However, both Ajay and Anik pleaded not guilty.
Police constable Hilary Sizmur, MPS roads and transport policing command said, ‘This was an audacious, criminal act, carried out by unscrupulous people whose sole aim was to line their pockets at the expense of their victims.’