Crash-for-cash trio sentenced

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Three men have received prison sentences for their participation in a crash-for-cash conspiracy, which saw the trio deliberately cause a crash in order to claim for injuries and vehicle damage.

Zahir Ali was sentenced to 12 months in prison at Manchester Crown Court, suspended for two years, and given 100 hours of community service for his prominent role in the crash-for-cash scam.

Ahsan Ali and Hussnain Ali were both sentenced to six months in prison, suspended for two years, and given 70 hours of community service. All three men were also ordered to pay £250 each in court costs.

The City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED) was contacted in 2017 by insurer Hastings Direct about suspicions involving a crash that happened in November 2016. Witnesses stated that only one person was in the vehicle.

The crash occurred when Zahir Ali was driving in Rochdale and he gestured to allow a woman to pull out of a junction in front of him. As she moved onto the road in front of him, he deliberately drove his vehicle into the victim’s car at low speed.

The damage caused was minimal and witnesses confirmed that Zahir Ali was the only person in his car at the time. He left the scene of the crash alone.

Following the crash, Zahir Ali contacted a vehicle recovery company and a law firm.

An assessment of the damage by a representative of the Institute of Motoring Industry found that Zahir Ali’s car had sustained damage after the collision, which had caused it to become immobile.

Zahir Ali also submitted injury claims to the law firm for himself, as well as Ahsan Ali and Hussnain Ali, on their behalf.

At a medical appointment, Zahir Ali and Ahsan Ali each claimed to be suffering from back pain. Hussnain Ali attended a later medical examination and claimed to be suffering from shoulder and neck pain. The doctor felt that these injuries were all consistent with a car crash. He recommended further examination by an orthopaedic surgeon as well as six sessions of physiotherapy each.

Zahir Ali, Ahsan Ali and Hussnain Ali were interviewed voluntarily about the crash-for-cash scam on 15 August 2017.

Commenting on the crash-for-cash verdicts, detective constable Kevin Hughes of IFED said: “Zahir Ali took a kind gesture and used it to create a crash that only served his own greed and that of Ahsan and Hussnain Ali.”

“Insurance fraud is not a victimless crime. When people commit insurance fraud, it drives up insurance premiums for all consumers as fraud costs the insurance industry money.”

Paul Priestley, director of counter fraud at Hastings Direct, said: “We are committed to protecting honest customers and we are therefore very happy with the decision of the court. Fraudsters should see this as a clear message that we will take all appropriate action to pursue and deter their actions.”

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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