A number of policies that had been incepted between January and October of 2016 were found to all be connected

A serial fraudster has been sentenced after an investigation by Hastings Direct and IFED led to him being found guilty of 18 counts of fraud.

Imran Rafique pleaded guilty to 18 counts of fraud at Birmingham Crown Court earlier this month.

He was sentenced to 16 months imprisonment (suspended for 18 months), 300 hours of community work, three months curfew and ordered to pay his victims back £8,000 as well as court costs of £1,200.

The investigation

In November 2016, Hastings’ Special Investigations Unit (SIU) identified a number of policies that had been incepted between January and October of the same year and identified that they were all connected.

After visiting the named policyholders to ascertain how they obtained their insurance policies, Hastings identified Imran Rafique as the ghost broker.

Hastings referred the matter to IFED, who conducted a criminal investigation during which other affected insurers were identified. The defrauded policyholders cooperated with the police who arrested and then charged Rafique.

Fraud driving up the costs

Matthew Stevens, Hastings’ director of counter fraud, said: “Too often, innocent members of the public are being deceived by this sort of activity. I am delighted that this fraudster has been caught and held to account. Hastings continues to invest in data, technology and people so that we identify such cases and take the necessary action to protect the innocent”.

Detective constable Ant Andrews, who the led the investigation for IFED, added: “By selling fake car insurance, Rafique put both the victims and other drivers on the road at risk. Not only do ghost brokers like Rafique directly impact drivers, they also cause financial harm to the insurance industry, driving up the cost of insurance premiums for all motorists.

“Thanks to the information provided by Hastings Direct, the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department’s investigation led to Rafique being convicted. This should act as a firm warning to fraudsters that IFED will catch you and you will face the consequences.”