Jail for woman who invented stories to secure payouts on fraudulent claims

09/01/2014

A woman who invented spurious stories, including that she had lost a pregnancy, suffered from terminal cancer and was a victim of violent crime, to make thousands of pounds from bogus claims has been jailed for 22 months.

Emma Fisher, from the West Midlands, went to extraordinary lengths to manipulate insurers, banks and a housing association into acting on 22 fraudulent claims.

Between August 2008 and July 2012, the 27-year-old received 11 payouts totalling £8,500, and was even moved into a specially adapted home to help her cope with a non-existent disability.

Fisher took out a majority of the policies online, using aliases to disguise her true identity.

After making a claim, Fisher would hound the issuer repeatedly on the telephone until they agreed to payout.

She impersonated professionals in positions of authority, such as doctors and police officers, and forged documentation in support of her claims. On one occasion, Fisher supplied a fake veterinary record to prop up a pet insurance claim for a dead Chihuahua dog.

Fisher's crime spree was first exposed in January 2012 when she was given a police caution for eight fraud offences committed between January 2009 and October 2011. However, this was not enough to convince her to change her ways and she continued to offend.

The true extent of her offending emerged three months later following referrals to the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED) from two insurers, Direct Line and RSA.

Fisher was arrested at her home in Slater Street, Willenhall, in July 2012 and subsequently pleaded guilty to 22 counts of fraud by false representation. She also asked the court to take into consideration when sentencing 43 additional counts of fraud relating to insurance matters that she had not been paid out on.

Earlier today at Wolverhampton Crown Court, Fisher was sentenced to 22 months in prison.

DC Alex Cooley, who led IFED's investigation, said: "Fisher was a criminal out of control who, over a number of years, devoted herself to the pursuit of making fraudulent claims in a ongoing quest to feather her own nest at the expense of others.

"No tale was too tall, no personal hardship too extreme for her to fabricate, as she continued to offend, even after being brought to book back in 2012. Hopefully a period behind bars will finally make her realise that crime does not pay." 

Sean Kyne, Acting Sector Crown Prosecutor from West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service, said:  "Motivated by greed, Emma Fisher used highly unscrupulous methods to defraud institutions out of thousands of pounds in order to fund her lifestyle.

"She invented extreme and emotional circumstances in order to manipulate individuals to earn their sympathy. This included claiming to be terminally ill, being a victim of domestic violence and suffering a miscarriage.

"Fisher even impersonated representatives from various authorities, including a police officer and a doctor, in order to substantiate her alleged claims.

"The CPS will now take steps to recover the amount stolen."