Three people have been sentenced for planning a crash-for-cash scam following an investigation by the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department, part of the City of London Police.
The scam, which would have cost Direct Line more than £38,000 in insurance claims, was uncovered after forensic engineers spotted the vehicles had been driven into each other four times – completely at odds with the accounts given to the insurer by the claimants.
Faisal Saeidi, 26, of Balmoral Road, Liverpool, Ffion Owen, 25, of Golan, Gwynedd, North Wales and Keiran Hodson, 24, of Carlett View, Liverpool previously pleaded guilty to fraud by false representation at Liverpool Crown Court.
All three were sentenced on 29 January to 12 months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years, and were each ordered to pay £3,000 in compensation to Direct Line.
In March 2013, Owen contacted her insurer, Direct Line, to inform that she had been involved in a collision between her Ford Focus and Saeidi’s Audi A4 whilst driving near Sefton Park, Liverpool. Owen claimed to have driven into Saeidi’s vehicle causing extensive damage to both.
Further claims were made against Owen’s policy by Saeidi for damage to his car, plus a number of personal injury claims for passengers that were present at the time of the collision in both vehicles – including Hodson, who was Owen’s boyfriend at the time. The total amount put aside by Direct Line for the claims was over £38,000.
However, with Owen’s insurance due to expire just a week later, Direct Line appointed a claim investigator to look into the claim. When a forensic engineer examined the vehicles, he found they had collided with each other on at least four occasions – not the once as had been claimed – and the case was subsequently referred to IFED officers to investigate.
Hodson was arrested and Owen voluntarily attended an interview with police in October 2014. During police interviews, the pair admitted to planning the collision with Saeidi as Owen’s car was old and needed replacing and Saeidi’s bumper on his car was already damaged and also needed replacing.
Saeidi was later arrested in February 2015 and when detectives seized and examined his phones, they found messages containing the details of the registration number of Owen’s Ford Focus, along with messages sent to Hodson.
Police Staff Investigator Abdelkader Rezkallah, from IFED, who investigated the case said: “This crash-for-cash scam was pre-planned together by Owen, Hodson and Saeidi to make a quick profit at their insurer’s expense. Despite knowing it was wrong, they still made the insurance claims and lied about how it had happened.
“This should serve as a warning to others thinking of doing similar that there are serious consequences to making false insurance claims. Crash-for-cash scams will be rooted out and those involved could be prosecuted and end up with a criminal conviction.”
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