Sentencing follows IFED investigation

New car crash

Three people have been sentenced for planning a ’crash for cash’ scam that would have cost insurer Direct Line more than £38,000.

Faisal Saeidi, 26, of Balmoral Road, Liverpool; Ffion Owen, 25, of Golan, Gwynedd, North Wales; and Keiran Hodson, 24, of Carlett View, Liverpool were sentenced on 29 January to 12 months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years.

They were each also ordered to pay £3,000 in compensation to Direct Line.

The three had previously pleaded guilty to fraud by false representation at Liverpool Crown Court.

The sentencing follows an investigation by the City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED).

The scam was uncovered after forensic engineers spotted the vehicles had been driven into each other four times – completely at odds with the accounts given to the insurer by the claimants.

In March 2013, Owen contacted Direct Line to inform that she had been involved in a collision between her Ford Focus and Saeidi’s Audi A4 whilst driving near Sefton Park, Liverpool. Owen claimed to have driven into Saeidi’s vehicle causing extensive damage to both.

Further claims were made against Owen’s policy by Saeidi for damage to his car, plus a number of personal injury claims for passengers that were present at the time of the collision in both vehicles – including Hodson, who was Owen’s boyfriend at the time. The total amount put aside by Direct Line for the claims was more than £38,000.

Direct Line appointed an investigator to look into the claim. When a forensic engineer examined the vehicles, he found they had collided with each other on at least four occasions – not the once that had been claimed – and the case was subsequently referred to IFED officers to investigate.

Police staff investigator Abdelkader Rezkallah of IFED, who investigated the case, said: “This crash-for-cash scam was pre-planned together by Owen, Hodson and Saeidi to make a quick profit at their insurer’s expense. Despite knowing it was wrong, they still made the insurance claims and lied about how it had happened.

“This should serve as a warning to others thinking of doing similar that there are serious consequences to making false insurance claims.”