Carl Burns, a director of City Underwriting Agencies, claims an “administrative error” led to his appearance at Birmingham Crown Court on insurance fraud charges.

Burns and motor trader Paul Newmarsh pleaded guilty to attempting

to obtain £62,000 by deception from Wellington Motor Policies.

Burns separately pleaded guilty to attempting to obtain £62,000 by deception from Royal & Sunalliance (RSA). They will return for sentencing on December 15.

The case was the result of six months' investigation work by Claims Management & Adjusting (CMA) and police.

A Porsche 911 Targa owned by Newmarsh was allegedly hit by a van in April 1998, outside Burn's offices in Solihull. It was then sold for about £4,500 salvage, before it could be inspected by insurers. Newmarsh went on to claim £62,000 from the third party's insurer Wellington.

CMA director Philip Swift said a number of irregularities were soon uncovered, particularly after the Porsche reappeared in pristine condition on Newmarsh's driveway.

It emerged that the car had been “written off” by its previous owner in 1996, substantially lowering its value. The car was damaged in exactly the same place in both accidents.

A relationship between Newmarsh and the third party driver was also revealed.

After Burns approached RSA, as Newmarsh's insurer, for the £62,000, both men were questioned and charged by police.

Two other men, the third party driver and the salvage agent who claimed to have disposed of the Porsche, were also questioned but released without charge.

Burns told Insurance Times after the court hearing that he was innocent

of any misdoing but had made an “administrative error” when he approached RSA.

“I've not put my hand up to fraud, I've put my hand up to an administrative error between myself and RSA,” Burns said.

He added that the police were satisfied the accident was not staged.

However, an officer investigating the case, said: “We strongly suspect that the accident was staged and minimal damage was caused to the Porsche.”