The fraudster used friends’ names to make to fake claims, totalling around £15000
A man has been sentenced after he used the personal details of his friends to make a series of fraudulent claims for motor crashes that never really happened.
Nathan O’Brien, 25, of Russet Walk, Greenhithe, Kent, pleaded guilty to two offences of fraud by false representation, with a further five taken into consideration.
He was sentenced at Maidstone Magistrates Court on Wednesday (9 January) to 240 days in prison, suspended for two years. He must also pay a £85 victim surcharge and another £85 in court costs.
The IFB had been communicating with insurers regarding suspected fraudulent claims involving vehicle crashes with similar circumstances, and they were able to link a number of them to O’Brien.
O’Brien had used the names and identities of friends to open multiple insurance policies, which he then claimed on for the made up crashes.
All of the claims had similar circumstances, as they all involved two vehicles, one party would take full responsibility, and the collision would occur a few days after the policy was incepted.
O’Brien would use a different pre-paid phone for each time the insurer would call to ask questions. He also involved a woman who would pretend to be the other party, who would take full responsibility. This woman was cautioned for two offences of fraud in November 2018.
Both fraudsters admitted to the fraud in a second round of interviews with officers, after refusing to answer questions in the first round.
In total, O’Brien’s fraudulent claims amounted to approximately £15,000, including the car hire costs, repair costs and personal injury claims.
His friends were unaware of the fraudulent claims being made in their name.
“Betrayed the trust of his friends”
Detective constable Kevin Hughes of the City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED) said: “O’Brien betrayed the trust of his friends and used their personal details to take out policies and make numerous fraudulent claims for personal injury and repair costs.
“He also caused them distress as they had to attend a police interview to be questioned about the fraudulent claims in their names.
“As well as impacting his own friends, O’Brien’s fraudulent claims affect the public by driving up the cost of premiums for everyone who buys insurance.”
Stephen Dalton, Head of Intelligence at IFB, said: “When our insurer members referred this case to us our analysts and investigators were able to uncover a pattern of fraudulent behaviour by O’Brien. This allowed us to link him to more than 20 claims, some of which were made under the names of O’Brien’s so-called friends on social media, arousing further suspicion.
”The fact that O’Brien was willing to put his own friends at risk of being complicit in the scam without their knowledge just goes to show how far he was willing to go.
“It’s thanks to the hard work of the insurance industry, IFED and the IFB that we’ve been able to stop O’Brien and ensure that he has seen his day in court. This should serve as fair warning to anyone else considering insurance fraud as a way to make a quick buck.”
This conviction is not included in the 433 achieved by IFED in the last seven years, as that figure is up to 31 December 2018, and O’Brien was convicted on 9 January 2019.
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