Hill Dickinson and Europcar disrupt staged accident fraudster

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Hill Dickinson’s Counter Fraud Group and Europcar, the car hire services company, have successfully disrupted the activities of a staged accident fraudster.

Following a court case centred on a staged collision between a family’s vehicle and a car hired from Europcar, Hill Dickinson’s fraud arm was able to identify suspicious activity carried out by Mark Richardson, the director of a claims management company called Richardsons.

Seven members of the family involved in the supposed accident submitted personal injury claims through Richardsons. The involvement of a hire car, along with inconsistencies in witness statements; incorrect details entered on the Claims Notification Forms; the high number of passengers; and the involvement of Richardson, all combined to raise Hill Dickinson’s suspicions. Investigating the claim, the firm identified links between the lead claimant and Richardson, who had submitted claims together for three previous traffic accidents.

In court the Judge concluded: “I found Richardson’s evidence staggering… I watched him carefully in evidence and I state with certainty that he was telling bare-faced lies.”

All claims related to the case, totalling over £150,000 were dismissed.

David Croot, a senior associate at Hill Dickinson said: “This victory for Europcar sends a clear message to fraudulent claimants, professional enablers and solicitors that deception and fraud will be detected and rigorously pursued. Justice has been achieved and this case further demonstrates the clear benefits derived from data sharing and industry collaboration.”

Ken McCall, managing director of Europcar UK group added: “Bogus insurance claims present a serious risk to the rental industry as a whole, with additional, unnecessary costs having to be passed on to our customers.

“This case should send a very clear signal to any individual or organisation considering insurance fraud.”

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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