Insurers working in tandem with each other and the police is ‘crucial’ for combatting fraud, says counter fraud director
A man who attempted to defraud Hastings Direct and 1st Central by using a number of aliases was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment on Monday (14 February 2022).
The City of London’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED) said its inquiries revealed that Jubair Choudhury had made a series of name changes to his driving license with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). His aliases included the names Mario Valentino, Carlos Doir and Jamail Caan.
Further checks on the Police National Computer (PNC) linked the fraudster to a total of 17 aliases as well as highlighting previous convictions in 2017 for similar offences.
Choudhury was also found to have several convictions for driving whilst disqualified for other motoring offences.
In August 2021, he pleaded guilty to four counts of fraud by false representation.
Despite being sentenced in 2017, IFED’s detective sergeant Jamie Kirk said that Choudhury “clearly did not learn his lesson”.
He continued: “Choudhury really has carved a name for himself as a serial fraudster.
“It is always frustrating to see a criminal back in court, but hopefully a stint in prison will finally teach Choudhury that no matter how many names you hide behind, you will be caught out in the end.”
Case deep dive
In August 2017, Choudhury took out a car insurance policy with Hastings Direct using the name Valentino. On his application, he stated he had no criminal convictions and nine years’ no claims bonus.
The insurer then received a claim in October 2017 from a third party reporting a collision involving the defendant a few days prior.
Choudhury contacted Hasting’s Direct around two weeks later denying involvement. He added that he had instead been involved in another collision, which he settled with the third party himself.
An examination of his silver Audi conducted by the firm’s vehicle assessor the month after, however, revealed that the minor damage to the vehicle was not consistent with the report.
An investigator from Hastings Direct was therefore sent to visit Choudhury in January 2018 to take a statement.
During the visit, the defendant flagged another unrelated incident – claiming that his car was damaged whilst parked overnight outside a property in September 2017. He also alleged that a note was left on his car by a witness named Caan.
Choudhury reported the collision to the police, which showed that the registration of the car was linked to a policy with 1st Central.
Record discrepancies then raised concerns for Hastings Direct.
After the police, the fraudster reported the collision to 1st Central. While liaising with the insurer, he moved the car into storage and had work completed on the vehicle by an independent body repair shop.
Choudhury then hit 1st Central with a £2,250 invoice.
The defendant told the insurer that his car was in storage until 20th December, which did not correspond with Hastings Direct’s vehicle assessor’s report.
Enquiries made by 1st Central also revealed that Valentino, Doir and Caan all had the same date of birth.
Choudhury said that he had not been involved in the collision and was only made aware of the alleged accident when contacted by the insurer.
While pleased with the outcome, Hastings Direct counter fraud director Matthew Stevens said that working with the police and other insurers was “crucial” in bringing fraudsters to justice.
1st Central counter fraud director Paul Priestley added: “Fraud isn’t a victimless crime. We know it can have a serious impact on honest policyholders.
“We were pleased to help the authorities in catching this serial fraudster and will continue to do everything we can to protect our customers.”