Two men have been jailed after they attempted to defraud a leading insurer of almost £77,000 by faking a car crash.
Mr Kenneth Nash and Mr Darren Gallimore dreamed up the scam in X and put it into effect in March 2011, when Mr Nash told his insurer that his car had crashed into the rear of Mr Gallimore’s car in Old Courthouse Road, Bromborough. The insurer started to process the two mens claims for damage to their cars and Mr Gallimore also submitted a claim for personal injury based upon injuries which he said he had received in the car crash. Other members of the two fraudsters’ families also submitted claims for personal injury based premised upon whiplash injuries which they said they had sustained in the accident.
The fraud was only discovered after a search of social media sites found that Mr Nash and Mr Gallimore were friends. The police were notified of the potential fraud and a criminal investigation was started into the matter. This criminal investigation by the police recommended that Mr Nash, Mr Gallimore and a number of other people who had submitted claims relating to the fraud be prosecuted on counts of conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation.
The case came to the Liverpool Crown Court last week. The court heard that the insurer had discovered that the two men were friends during a cursory check of social media sites and that suspicions that the men had potentially faked the accident were bolstered when it was found by forensic examiners that damage to the cars was inconsistent with the event that both men said had happened. Both Mr Nash and Mr Gallimore pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation and they were each jailed for a period of 12 months. Four other family members who were also charged with conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation received suspended sentences, community service and supervision orders.
Judge Mark Brown told the two men: “You have pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation. This is commonly known as a ‘crash-for-cash’ or whiplash case in which you made fraudulent claims for compensation. [The accident] was completely bogus. If the crash ever occurred, it was a set-up” and that he was “satisfied both of you had a leading role in this scam. I’m satisfied this was a carefully thought through scam. You knew the clear consequences, should you be detected.”
Marc Hadrill, a personal injury solicitor at Redmans, commented: “Fraud relating to personal injury cases is an extremely serious matter for three reasons – firstly, what these men engaged in was a serious criminal offence; secondly, that it was a serious abuse of court process on their party; and, thirdly, fraudulent personal injury claims besmirch the names of all those persons who are seriously injured, claim personal injury and try to obtain some form of redress through the court system.”