Five ex-Allianz employees have been sentenced for leaking customer data to claims management companies (CMCs).
Sajaad Nawaz and Shaiad Nawaz approached former colleagues Kayleigh Underhill, Andrew Clarke and Reace Bowen, who all worked at Allianz Insurance, and persuaded them to hand over information regarding Allianz Insurance customers who been involved in collisions. The information was then sent by the brothers to CMCs.
The group made £7,000 from leaking more than 700 pieces of confidential data and have now all been sentenced for bribery offences.
Sajaad Nawaz, 36, from Birmingham pleaded guilty at a mention hearing at Birmingham Crown Court in May 2017 and was sentenced on 22 August to four months imprisonment suspended for 15 months. His brother Shaiad Nawaz age 34, from Birmingham, was sentenced on 23 August to six months imprisonment suspended for 15 months and 20 days of rehabilitation activity.
Underhill, 26, of Solihull, Clarke, 24 , of Solihul and Bowen, 23 from Birmingham, all pleaded guilty in February and were sentenced in April. Underhill received 12 months imprisonment suspended for 18 months, a rehabilitation order and £1,050 compensation to be paid to Allianz Insurance. Clarke was given eight months imprisonment suspended for 18 months and a community order and £150 compensation to be paid to Allianz Insurance. Bowen was handed eight months imprisonment suspended for 18 months and a community order and £300 to be paid to Allianz Insurance.
The group’s criminal activity came to light when a report was made to Action Fraud, the national fraud reporting centre for fraud and cyber-crime in 2015.
Detectives were able to gather evidence to show that Underhill, Clarke and Bowen had regular contact with the brothers via WhatsApp. While at work they would they would write customer data on their notepads, take photographs of the data and then pass the information via WhatsApp to both Nawaz brothers. They would also discuss payment for the information in their WhatsApp conversations.
Detective Constable Daryl Fryatt, who led the case for the City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department, said: “Underhill, Clarke and Bowen were all in a position of trust and now have a criminal record and will be unable to work in a range of industries.
“Whilst the Nawaz brothers thought they could make easy money by selling on data, they have now found that it is not that easy and they too have been sentenced as a result of their involvement.
“None of the offenders considered the consequences of selling this customer data and had no thought around the fact that people would end up receiving cold calls from claims management companies. They completely breached the trust of the customers and took advantage of the position they were in.”
Graham Gibson, chief claims officer at Allianz Insurance said: “We are extremely disappointed by the actions of these three individuals and we have worked in close co-operation with the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED) during their investigations.
“Keeping our customers data safe from rogue Claims Management Companies is a priority for Allianz and we will work closely with the police to help prosecute those involved in this type of activity.
“Allianz has a zero tolerance to data theft which is not a victimless crime. This often leads to cold calling and pressure on our customers to pursue claims that lack validity and it must be stamped out.”