£5.3 million 'cash for crash' insurance and mortgage fraud prosecution concludes

15/04/2011

Three men were convicted of insurance fraud yesterday (14 April) at Luton Crown Court, following a five-year investigation by Bedfordshire police into one of the largest fraud rings the insurance industry has ever seen.

The organised criminal enterprise, based in Luton, resulted in a total of 43 defendants being convicted in separate hearings over the last three years, in connection with a £5.3 million 'cash for crash' insurance and mortgage fraud.

The entire police investigation, in partnership with the Insurance Fraud Bureau, resulted in 37 of these defendants - from accident management companies, vehicle storage premises, car insurance assessors, as well as policy-holders - pleading guilty to a variety of offences in connection with the fraud. Six others who pleaded not guilty were also convicted.

At yesterday's hearing, Kamsan Mahmood, Istafa Hussain and Peter Charlery were all convicted of conspiracy to defraud and Irtiza Fazal was acquitted. They will be sentenced on 27 April.

CPS Thames and Chiltern prosecutor, Frances Bush, from the Bedfordshire branch, said: 'This was a very thorough and complex investigation and prosecution that ultimately has led to the convictions of 43 offenders who were involved in this 'cash for crash' and mortgage fraud. Many were supposedly respectable people who thought they were above the law, and that they could make vast sums of money through this criminal activity and get away with it.

'The evidence was strong and this fact led to the majority of the defendants pleading guilty, whilst the jury has convicted six of the remaining defendants. Those who haven't yet been sentenced will be brought back before the courts on 27 April and will be punished accordingly for their crimes.

'In addition, money and assets have been - and will continue to be - seized under the Proceeds of Crime Act to ensure that these criminals do not benefit from their crimes.'