What have been some of the most outrageous, and simply stupid fraud cases of this year?
Some fraud cases this year have been a source of great entertainment. Some have been audacious, ambitious, but most have been stupid and hilarious.
Here are some of the craziest fraud cases that came to light in 2017.
Reality TV contestant bungee jumps 19 days after bogus claim of injury at work
In October, a fraudster was given a 10-month suspended custodial sentence after claiming to have hurt her back at work, but was then seen bungee jumping on national television.
Noreen Murray claimed that on 19 October 2013, she injured her back at work, which left her bedbound for two days and unable to walk or stand for longer than 1-30 minutes.
She left her job two days after the alleged incident, and less than three weeks later, she had signed up for Channel 4’s ‘Coach Trip’.
In season 12, episode 21 of the show, she is shown bungee jumping in Valencia, Spain. Afterwards, she called it the best thing she had done in her life.
She did not make a claim for a full four months after the alleged incident occurred. There was no log of her injury and she had not told her employer about it.
Aviva declined the claim and worked with the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED) to bring the fraud conviction.
Exaggerated claim ruins motorists chance of genuine compensation
A motorist, who had a genuine right to make a claim, lost out on her chances after she wildly exaggerated her claim to get more money.
Katherine Andrews, 47, was involved in a small collision in east London in May 2012 with a driver insured by Admiral.
Admiral’s policyholder admitted liability and Mrs Andrew’s claim for vehicle damage was swiftly settled. However, 22 months later, Andrews submitted an additional claim for compensation exceeding £20,000.
Horwich Farrelly’s investigations identified numerous inconsistencies in Mrs Andrews’ claim. She submitted seven different medical reports; however, they had significant inconsistencies. For example, she told the first medical expert that her symptoms were intermittent but advised her orthopaedic expert that her symptoms were constant. And she told the same expert she was suffering from migraines two out of three weeks but told the other expert that she had not suffered migraines at all.
She also provided three different schedules for compensation, each for different durations and frequency of treatment and for amounts ranging from £1,029 to £10,810.
At the court hearing, her husband was seen mouthing to her while she was answering questions.
According to the judge, the inconsistencies between the three schedules for care and assistance, coupled with the claimant being unable to specify the length of her alleged injury or length of disability, meant she had fatally undermined her credibility.
The judge recorded the amount of damages Mrs Andrews would have been awarded, but for the dishonesty, at £5,000. However, given the ruling, the claimant not only lost any potential genuine compensation but also QOCS-protection, which meant she is required to pay the defendant’s costs, less the damages she would have received, at a total of £3,409.
Policyholder claims his car was stolen and crashed while he was asleep in the back seat
A Covea insurance policyholder reported that he had parked his vehicle at the local pub. He locked the vehicle using the keys and then put the keys in his pocket. He stayed out drinking until about 3AM.
He had intended on staying at his cousins. It was a cold evening, so he went to his vehicle to get his jacket out. He decided that as it was cold, he would sleep in the back of the vehicle.
He fell asleep on the back seat with the vehicle keys in his hand.
He was woken up by the police knocking on his window. The police opened the door and informed him that his vehicle had been in a crash. He confirmed that the vehicle key was still in his hand when he had woken up.
He alleged that someone had stolen the vehicle, crashed it and then left the vehicle and put the keys back in his hand. During the incident the insured did not wake up.
Three sentences for fraudster who ‘rehearsed’ their crash
Three men from Bedfordshire were given jail sentences for rehearsing a crash.
A driver with an AXA policy was driving a company-owned Vauxhall Vivaro van. He was five minutes away from home where he was returning from work. The two cars in front of him are a white Vauxhall Astra and a dark-coloured hatchback. The hatchback stops suddenly, even though the road ahead is clear, and the Astra does an emergency stop.
The AXA policyholder is unable to swerve, but did slow down to a speed of 5mph at the point of collision. The hatchback speeds off to never be seen again.
The insured and a passenger from the Astra talk and find somewhere to exchange details. They find a car park, where another passenger in the Astra swaps seats with the driver.
While inspecting the cars, another man (suspected to be the driver of the hatchback) arrives. He admits to being in the car, until the insured takes a picture of him, then he denies being involved then walks off.
The insured finds no damage on the Astra, but details are exchanged, nevertheless.
All occupants of the Astra are said to be moving freely, until the ambulance arrived, when they start rubbing their backs and pretending to be injured.
Insured alerted AXA, and the case was then investigated by IFED.
The men initially placed claims through their solicitors but then did not respond when further enquiries were made.
The three men were given prison terms of 14, 15 and 17 months.
Cage fighter caught cold with £8,000 fine for dishonest whiplash claim
A professional cage fighter has been dealt a deadly blow to the ribs after being found guilty of making a dishonest injury claim.
Jake Bostwick, nicknamed ‘Brutal Bostwick,’ claimed to have suffered severe neck pain in a car accident on 15 June 2015.
He also said to his claim’s medical expert that he had been severely restricted in his ability to lift items, sleep, or care for himself because of the accident.
His insurer, Aviva, became suspicious after the crash and handed the claim over to its counter fraud solicitors, DAC Beachcroft.
They found he was a regular cage fighter in the ‘Cage Warriors Fighting Championship’, ‘Ultimate Challenge MMA’ and ‘Warrior Fight Series’.
Mr Bostwick had fought professionally 22 days prior to the accident and then reported in an interview, less than 1 month after his medical expert appointment, that he believed he had sustained a broken jaw, possible broken arm, a busted shin and was almost knocked out twice in the fight.
But the haymaker was dealt after he claimed that he had been unable to attend the gym, but a video was identified on his social media, 10 weeks into his supposed 6-month severe neck injury, which showed that he was able to flip a 25KG weight into the air.
Mr Bostwick discontinued his personal injury claims just weeks after the evidence against him was presented to his solicitor.
On 18 October 2017, District Judge Jackson concluded Bostwick had made a dishonest personal injury claim and ruled it to be Fundamentally Dishonest. The Judge ordered the Claimant to pay Aviva’s costs of more than £7,900.