Fraudster Danyal Buckharee scooped £500,000 from creating four websites offering cheap car insurance

Two ‘ghost brokers’ have been jailed today for their part in masterminding what is believed to be the UK’s biggest fake car insurance scam.

Young people were targeted in the fraud which saw 600 drivers duped into buying non-existent car insurance policies over the telephone between May 2011 and April 2012.

Danyal Buckharee made £500,000 from creating four websites offering ‘cheap’ car insurance, Aston Midshires Insurance, Astuto Insurance, Car Insurance Warehouse and First Car Direct Insurance.

And he used paid-for advertising to ensure his online enterprises appeared at the top of internet searches.

Some of the victims only realised they had been conned when their car was seized by police for having no insurance.

The second man, Giovanni Recchia, helped Buckharee to run the First Car Direct Insurance Website.

During the investigation, officers found links between Aston Midshires and the other websites, which then led them to discover a fraud factory in Wandsworth, where Buckharee and Recchia were also found and subsequently arrested.

They also shut down the First Car Direct website and froze associated bank accounts, which prevented £28,000 being lost by victims.

The scam was detected following an investigation by the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED), after the Motor Insurers’ Bureau passed over complaints about Aston Midshires Insurance from drivers who had been stopped by police for driving without insurance.

DC Patrick Einsmann, who led IFED’s investigation, said: “Buckharee executed the UK’s biggest ghost broking scam, making half a million pounds and leaving 600 people oblivious to the fact they were driving on our roads uninsured. 

“Buckharee was pulling all the strings, using a collection of sham websites to hawk his fraudulent policies to drivers across the country, frittering away the cash on gambling and girls.

“Unfortunately for him, a forensic IFED investigation has put these pleasures beyond his reach with him behind bars.”

In February 2013, Buckharee admitted two counts of fraud relating to the Aston Midshires Insurance and First Car Direct Insurance websites, and three counts of money laundering in relation to the four websites during an appearance at the Old Bailey.

And last month, Recchia was found guilty by a jury at the Old Bailey on one count of fraud by false representation.

Buckharee from Putney was handed down a three-year sentence at the Old Bailey, while Recchia from Nottinghamshire will serve 12 months.