ERS investigation leads to six-month sentence for fraudster

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A fraudster who made a false insurance claim against a passenger who was severely injured in a car crash that he caused has been jailed after ERS investigated the scam.

Shakeeb Akhtar was sentenced to six months in prison at the High Court at Birmingham District Registry.

He claimed £45,000 for personal injury after falsely declaring that he was a passenger in Shiraz Sarfraz’s Volkswagen Golf when it crashed at speed off the A34 near Birmingham in the early hours of 17 July 2012.

Akhtar provided false statements claiming that Sarfraz was driving when the collision occurred and also pursued a hefty claim for injuries that he allegedly suffered.

Further investigations by ERS, as Sarfraz’s insurer, established that his severe injuries were entirely consistent with him being in the front passenger seat at the time of the incident rather than Akhtar.

In contrast, Akhtar’s injuries wildly conflicted with his account of being the front seat passenger and proved that he was in fact the driver responsible for the collision.

Akhtar was found guilty at trial in the High Court at Birmingham District Registry of a serious contempt of court for providing false statements in an attempt to defraud ERS.

He was handed the immediate six-month prison sentence and ordered to pay costs in excess of £25,000.

Steve Gaywood, head of counter fraud at ERS, said: “This dramatic case demonstrates how unscrupulous those who commit this type of fraud are prepared to be. ERS is dedicated to supporting claimants, however, fraudulent claims are never tolerated and any claims irregularities will always be investigated through our specialist teams to protect honest customers. I am pleased that the court recognised the gravity of this particular offence and sent a clear message of deterrence through sentencing.”

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Mark Dugdale is the editor of Claims Media. Mark welcomes articles, letters or feedback from readers and can be reached via mark.dugdale@barkerbrooks.co.uk