Fraudulent claims handler who stole 40k jailed

Friends who helped fraudster launder money get suspended sentences

A Birmingham insurance claims handler who stole more than £40,000 from his employer before laundering the money through his friends’ bank accounts was jailed for 10 months yesterday.

Ravinder Malhi added his friends as beneficiaries to legitimate car insurance claims and issued them with 11 fraudulent cheques over a three-year period.

Malhi’s friends – Mohammed Kawsar, Syed Islam and Shezhad Ladha – each received a cheque from Malhi which they cashed before splitting the proceeds with him. They were handed suspended prison terms yesterday.

Malhi was caught in March 2012 when his employer noticed a £7,000 cheque had been issued to Kawsar and reported the matter to the City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED).

Soon afterwards, IFED detectives travelled to Birmingham and arrested Malhi at work.

Kawsar, Islam and Ladha were arrested at a later stage along with three other men and a woman.

Malhi subsequently pleaded guilty to 11 counts of fraud by abuse of position while Kawsar, Islam and Ladha each admitted a count of money laundering.

At the Old Bailey Malhi, aged 28, of North Drive in Birmingham, was sentenced to 10 months in prison.

Kawsar, aged 21, of Rochchester Street in the Chatham area of Kent, and Islam, also aged 21, of Bramble Dell in Birmingham, were both given four-month jail terms suspended for 12 months and ordered to undertake 120 hours’ unpaid work. Ladha, aged 21, of Berridge Road in Nottingham, was given an eight-month jail term suspended for 18 months, and was ordered to undertake 180 hours’ unpaid work.

The three other men arrested were each given a police caution. No further action was taken against the woman arrested.

DC Andy Jackson, who led IFED’s investigation, said: “Malhi thought his insider knowledge would enable him to get away with funnelling off funds from his employer through cheques sent to his mates.

“Unfortunately for him, he was unable to completely cover his tracks and the diligence of his employer, coupled with the dedication of IFED to catching insurance fraudsters, has seen him swap a nice office for a prison cell.”

Crown Prosecution Serivce London senior crown prosecutor and single point of contact for IFED Safira Afzal added: “This sophisticated and highly organised fraud was orchestrated by Malhi and was a complete abuse of his position of trust as a claims handler in a Birmingham insurance company.

“The overwhelming evidence against Mahli led him to plead guilty at the outset and he has now been brought to justice for his crimes.

“The other three defendants who helped Mahli launder the profits of his fraud initially tried to maintain their innocence. Kawsar admitted his guilt on 26 April, followed by Islam on 17 May, both at the Central Criminal Court. Ladha waited until the day of trial until changing his plea to guilty.”

Share post