A travel agent has been sentenced to eight months in prison for stealing more than £70,000 through a series of travel insurance cons.
Travel agent Simon Dinham (pictured) pleaded guilty to three counts of fraud by abuse of position and one count of fraud by false representation at Bristol Crown Court on 15 June.
A City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED) investigation discovered that Dinham abused his position as a director of a travel agency by making a false travel insurance claim worth £16,000.
The travel agent also stole around £53,000 from his customers by pretending to book their flights and then diverting their payment into his personal bank account.
Among his crimes were the false travel insurance claim for a family trip to Las Vegas worth more than £16,000 and taking £10,000 from a college but failing to book the flights for an educational trip to Poland for 32 of its students.
City of London Police detective constable Katy Goulding, who led the IFED’s investigation, said: “Dinham showed he cared very little for other people, as he was happy to abuse his position as director of his travel agency to not only steal their money, but also ruin their holidays. He also wasn’t fazed by using his family’s names to commit his crimes. Nor did he mind ripping off students who tend to have a very limited income.”
Mike Brown, head of counter fraud intelligence at Direct Line Group, said: “Dinham attempted to deceive Direct Line Group in order to obtain over £16,000, by producing falsified booking and cancellation invoices for his holiday to Las Vegas.”
“During this investigation the true extent to Mr Dinham’s fraudulent operations were discovered. Mr Dinham’s sentence should serve as a stark warning to those who seek to commit insurance fraud in the future.”