A couple who worked together to make a series of false claims for car crashes that never really happened have been sentenced.
Corey Ashleigh-John and Chloe Jade Pitcher, who previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud, each received four months in prison, suspended for 12 months, at Luton Crown Court. They will also be subject to a three-month curfew.
Ashleigh-John will also be subject to a 20-day rehabilitation activity requirement, while Pitcher’s was set at 10 days.
Officers of the City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED) discovered that Ashleigh-John and Pitcher took out car insurance policies with several different insurers, and used false names, contact details, and addresses to make a total of eight claims for fake car crashes over the course of nine months.
Detective Constable Justin Hawes, who led the investigation for IFED, said: “Ashleigh-John and Pitcher were systematic in the way they carried out this fraud, and clearly had qualms using other people’s details to progress their claims.”
“As well as stealing money from insurers and impacting those whose details they used, the pair’s fraudulent claims affect the public by driving up the cost of premiums for everyone who buys insurance.”
Ashleigh-John fraudulently gained £3,000 from some of the claims for fake car crashes. If all claims had been paid out, it is estimated that insurers would have lost more than £50,000.
In addition to the claims for repair costs to their vehicle, the pair put in claims for personal injuries sustained by the alleged collision, and also used false details to create ‘ghost’ passengers to try and claim even more money.
During their investigation, IFED officers contacted the people whose details had been used by Ashleigh-John and Pitcher to initially take out the car insurance policy, or to fabricate the driver of the third-party vehicle. When questioned, all of them confirmed they either didn’t take out the policies or were not involved in the car crashes described.
Some of the cars that Ashleigh-John and Pitcher claimed were involved in the collisions with them were found to be nowhere near the location at the time, according to analysis of tracking data.
The Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) provided support to IFED’s investigation and disseminated details of Ashleigh-John and Pitcher to the insurance industry and identified further victims.
Stephen Dalton, head of intelligence and investigations at the IFB, said: “I’m pleased that justice has been served to these two fraudsters. It’s a very positive outcome considering the length and complexity of this investigation which has affected more than a dozen insurers, and thanks go to the talented teams at the IFB and IFED.”