£34,000 confiscated from insurer conman

The Old Bailey has ordered £34,000 to be confiscated from a ‘crash for cash’ conman who obtained it from sham insurance claims made after he deliberately caused a collision on a Dorchester A-road. He was also ordered to pay court cost of £7,653.00.

Judge Moss said that Mark Smith, aged 45, of Moat House Way in Doncaster, must repay the total amount to his car insurer within three months or face 18 months in prison.

The ruling comes after City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED) applied to the court to recover the proceeds of Smith’s fraud in March 2013, when its investigation saw him handed a six month jail term suspended for two years and an 140 hour unpaid work order.

Smith previously pleaded guilty to deliberately slamming on the breaks of his Porsche 911 on the A638 in 2009, causing a Doncaster Council van to drive into the back of him.

He admitted fraudulently obtaining payouts from his car insurer and attempting to extract money from the van’s insurer Zurich for bogus whiplash and repair claims.

Zurich had made a referral to IFED after seeing CCTV footage of the collision from the tunnel section of the A638. It showed Smith performed an emergency stop without reason and then the Porsche heading out of the tunnel undamaged.

City of London Police Financial Investigator, Stephen Tse, who led the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department’s action, said: ‘Smith deliberately caused a crash on a busy road, putting other motorists’ lives at risk, solely to get money from insurers.

‘The court confiscating £34,000 from Smith shows committing insurance fraud ultimately does not pay.

‘This is also further evidence of how the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department is working with criminal justice partners on behalf of insurers and the public to put fraudsters in front of the courts and forcibly take assets acquired through their criminal activity.’

Zurich’s claims fraud and investigations manager, Scott Clayton, said, ‘Smith committed a dangerous crime that risked injury to innocent drivers in an attempt to secure large sums of money from Doncaster Council for his personal benefit.

‘Five years after the crime was committed, he finally has to repay the money that was not lawfully his.

‘This is an extremely positive outcome, not just for the local authority but for motorists who are exposed to the dangerous driving involved in staged accidents, and who pay higher insurance premiums due to the costs associated with this unlawful activity.’