Four people involved in a “crash-for-cash” scam worth nearly £500,000 were found guilty at Sheffield Crown Court yesterday [26 September 2013]

The four people from across England and Wales were convicted at court following a six-week hearing. Seven other people involved have pleaded guilty and will be sentenced at a later date.

Inquiries began two years ago by South Yorkshire Police’s Economic Crime team after a collision involving a 12-tonne bus and a Vauxhall Zafira in the Burngreave area of Sheffield. 

The force said investigations into claims following the crash led to a wider inquiry into the activities of a Sheffield-based accident claims company called City Claims 4 U, a company owned and run by one of the gang members. Officers worked closely with the Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB), a London-based industry organisation, and FirstGroup to identify and gather evidence. 

Professionally planned and highly organised

DC Mark Wootton, who led the investigation, said: “This was a professionally-planned, highly-organised group of individuals who set out to defraud a number of insurance companies by making deliberate false claims and pocketing the money for themselves. The fraud involved false claims for personal injury, vehicle damage, over-inflated recovery and storage costs, together with extortionate and false claims for hire vehicles from CCC Hire 4 U, a company owned and run by Mohammed Omar Gulzar.”

Scams like these increase insurance premiums

Ben Fletcher, Director of the IFB, currently investigating 90+ criminal gangs involved in ‘crash- for-cash’ fraud, said: “Scams like this expose the shocking lengths fraudsters go to make money through what they wrongly assume is a victimless crime. ‘Crash-for-cash’ costs the insurance industry £392 million per year, but its honest policyholders who ultimately have their pockets picked by the fraudsters”

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