Alex Markham inflated the value of filming equipment stolen from him during a burglary

A man has been sentenced after admitting to inflating an insurance claim worth more than £240,000.

Alex Markham, 40, from Manchester, reported a burglary at his storage unit to Greater Manchester Police on 4 May 2017. The next day, he submitted a claim to his insurance company stating that a large amount of film production equipment was missing, including three video cameras valued at around £17,000 each.

Independent investigators were put in charge of the claim, and Markham submitted supporting documents, including a schedule detailing the relevant stolen items, a quotation for replacement equipment and copies of the original purchase invoices correlating with the items stolen.

However, less than two weeks later (17 May), after initial actions were undertaken by the investigators, Markham called again and admitted to inflating the claim.

He admitted that while he was the victim of a genuine burglary, he had lied about some of the items stolen so that he could make an inflated claim.

Markham’s initial false claim amounted to £248,482 but the true value of the property stolen was in fact £47,573.

In a later interview with IFED officers, he also admitted to amending details on the supporting documents.

As a result, on 18 December 2017, Markham pleaded guilty to fraud by false representation and was sentenced at Manchester Crown Court to 10 months imprisonment, suspended for 12 months.

He was also given 235 hours unpaid work to be completed in the next 12 months and was also ordered to pay £340 for costs to the court and a victim surcharge of £140.

City of London Police Detective Constable Kim Negus, who led the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department’s investigation, said:

“Markham thought he could get away with exaggerating his burglary claim, but he saw sense and admitted his crime. Thanks to the work of our Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department, the full extent of Markham’s actions were revealed and he has been dealt a fitting punishment.”