Mark Hazelwood kept premiums in £400,000 scam

Fraud police are seeking banned Hertfordshire insurance broker Mark Hazelwood, who defrauded hundreds of doctors’ surgeries with £400,000 worth of non-existent insurance policies.

The FSA banned Hazelwood for lying to his customers, lying to the FSA and failing to pass on insurance premiums.

Hazelwood ran Synergys Ethical Limited from Whitwell in Hertfordshire, a business which arranged locum insurance for doctors and covered GP surgeries for any liability they might face while employing temporary or locum medical practitioners.

Synergys was referred to enforcement when the FSA became aware that one of Hazelwood’s customers had attempted to make a claim on their policy, but received no payment.

Hazelwood ignored any attempt at contact by his clients, the FSA said. Further investigation showed that Hazelwood had failed to pass to insurers almost £360,000 in customers’ premiums. In October 2008 the FSA took action to stop Synergys’ regulated business and issued a consumer alert warning that the firm was no longer permitted to conduct any regulated activities and may have failed to pass on clients premiums to insurers.

Search warrants executed at Hazelwood’s residential and business addresses uncovered documents regarding a new unauthorised business called Aquote. Evidence showed that Hazelwood had failed to pass on a further £25,000 of customers’ premiums to insurers.

Hazelwood has now been banned from performing any regulated activity in the financial services industry as he lacks the honesty and integrity required to hold this type of position.

Hertfordshire Police, Fraud Squad are currently conducting an investigation into Hazelwood and his business activities. According to reports, he is believed to be in South-East Asia.

Margaret Cole, director of the Enforcement and Financial Crime Division said: “Hazelwood deliberately and dishonestly deceived his customers into believing they had purchased insurance policies when in fact he kept their premium payments himself.

“It is clear from Hazelwood’s behaviour that he never intended to pass on the premiums, but sought to obtain money from his customers under false pretences and for his own personal gain.

“The FSA will not tolerate people like Hazelwood. He has neither the integrity nor honesty to operate in this industry.”