Judge Martin Beddoe described the former DAS boss as “arrogant” and “greedy” on passing sentence
Former DAS UK chief executive Paul Asplin was today sentenced to seven years imprisonment after earlier this week being found guilty of fraud against his ex-employer.
Also found guilty for their involvement in the fraud were former DAS claims manager David Kearns and Asplin’s ex-wife Sally Jones.
Kearns was sentenced to four years and three months with Jones sentenced to three years and nine months imprisonment.
The three will all serve half their sentence, with the second half suspended.
Additionally, Asplin, 60, was disqualified from serving as a company director for 12 years. Kearns and Jones were given a similar ban for eight years.
“Arrogant and greedy”
Passing Asplin’s sentence at Southwark Crown Court, Judge Martin Beddoe labelled Asplin as an “arrogant and greedy man” who used the misplaced trust of the German DAS directors, who Asplin had “contemptuously described as idiots,” to carry out the fraud.
He said: “You played a leading role in this fraud, involving others and through your influence abused your position of power, your position of trust and your position of responsibility.”
And he added: “You obstructed the efforts of those trying to establish the truth on numerous occasions.
“Some of those actions were pernicious and you, for your own greedy purpose, took action against those who would speak out against you, to continue to try and suppress the real truth.
“Despite enquiries being made you carried on with this fraud undeterred.”
Asplin had been standing trial since April accused of conspiring to defraud DAS in relation to two separate companies the legal expenses insurer did business with – Med Report and CW Law.
Asplin was found not guilty with regards to CW Law, but on the Med Report fraud charge the jury found him, Kearns and Jones guilty.
During the course of the trial, the jury heard how Asplin had founded Med Report alongside Kearns and his friend Robert Dalley in 2000.
DAS would contract Med Report to compile medical reports on clients submitting personal injury claims and pass them onto solicitors.
The jury heard from the prosecution about several occasions when Asplin had failed to declare his financial interest in the company.
Prosecuting QC Richard Whittam had argued Asplin and Kearns took steps to hide their beneficial interest in the company from DAS and showed prejudice to Med Report over alternative medical reporting agencies.
This was said to be to the detriment of DAS, by depriving it of the opportunity to hold open and fair negotiations.
In his submission to Judge Beddoe today, Whittam said: “Paul Asplin used the confidence he had gained from the German shareholders to con them by relying on that confidence.”
The German directors in charge of DAS at the time told the jury during the trial they were unaware of Asplin and Kearns’ interest in the company.
Defending QC Adrian Waterman conceded Asplin had been dishonest in concealing his involvement in Med Report, but argued the relationship between DAS and Med Report had been profitable for both sides.
“First for Justice”
A spokesperson for DAS said: “We are pleased with today’s outcome. The DAS brand itself stands “First for Justice”. Having found evidence indicative of wrongdoing, it was important that the company pursued the matter to its conclusion.”
Standing trial alongside Asplin were his wife Karen Asplin, Jones, Dalley, Kearns, and Kearns’ wife Jayne Kearns.
All except Mrs Asplin were accused of conspiring to commit fraud in regards of Med Report. Mr and Mrs Asplin and Mr Kearns were also accused of conspiring to commit fraud in regards of CW Law.
Mrs Asplin, Dalley and Mrs Kearns were found not guilty on all charges against them.
A confiscation hearing, which will include a review of compensation to be paid to DAS, has been scheduled to be held from 17 December 2018.