A ‘CASH for crash’ fraud ring in Leeds has been smashed after a group of criminals, who attempted to falsely claim lucrative insurance payouts worth up to £145,000, were jailed.
Insurance providers LV= and esure unearthed a series of dodgy claims set up by Abdul Jamil, 47, Shamila Saleem, 47, and Farhana Kazmi, 42, after an incident in Brudenell Street, Hyde Park aroused suspicion.
The trio, all from Bradford, claimed Jamil was driving a taxi, with his accomplices as passengers, when a car insured by LV= pulled out from a side road and drove into the side of the moving vehicle.
All three tried to claim compensation for injuries, and Jamil tried to claim for vehicle repairs as well as for a hire vehicle.
If successful, the fraud could have cost the insurer £145,000.
Investigations found the incident happened shortly after the policy was taken out and had no police involvement, while a forensics team found the taxi was actually hit while stationary.
It soon emerged that the group had brought similar cases against other insurers, including esure, involving side-on collisions with a taxi in similar circumstances. The trio were linked to five similar claims.
John O’Roarke, of LV= car insurance, said: “This is a case where organised criminals were deliberately staging accidents, putting themselves and the safety of innocent motorists at risk.”
LV= and esure turned down the claims and successfully sued for their losses. Kazmi admitted the crashes had never taken place, but Jamil and Saleem stuck to their stories. In a further case, the trio collectively pleaded guilty to 33 criminal charges brought against them at a High Court hearing in Liverpool on November 26.
Jamil, of Thornbury, and Saleem, of Bradford Moor, were each sentenced to eight months in prison. Kazmi, of Fagley, was given a 12-week suspended sentence.
Mohammed Adris Aziz, of Shipley, from the esure case, was sentenced to six months in prison.