Cash for Crash: 11 to be sentenced for planned bus and car collisions

25/09/2013

Four people involved in a ‘cash for crash’ scam in Sheffield have today (25 September) been found guilty of conspiracy to defraud following a six week trial at Sheffield Crown Court. Seven people pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing.

'Cash for Crash' is a scam in which people make insurance claims for car accidents which either never happened or were staged. Their claims may cover personal injury and damages.

All fourteen were charged with offences of conspiracy to defraud insurance companies and ten were also charged with fraud.

The allegations centred on 'City Claims 4 u' which is a claims management company based on Pitsmoor Road in Sheffield.

Senior Crown Prosecutor  for the CPS, David Holderness said:

"This was a most elaborate scam to trick insurance companies out of money through staged collisions and false claims. Most of the incidents related to car accidents that never actually happened. People would submit false claims for damage and personal injury and be compensated financially by the relevant insurance company.

"Our case was the City Claims 4 U was a wholly dishonest enterprise and operated as a vehicle for fraud. The dishonest activities of the company, its owners and its employees extended to dozens of bogus road traffic collisions.

"However, in June 2011, the group became arrogant and greedy. They loaded a bus with passengers set to make false claims, alongside genuine and innocent passengers. The driver, Adam Herbert, who was in on the scam, collided very slowly with Safaida Bi in a Vauxhall Zafira on Scott Road in Page Hall, Sheffield.

"Despite the negligible impact, injuries were reported and a team of ambulances attended the scene as did the police.

"Herbert told the police that he had not seen the driver before she had left the scene as he was tending passengers who had fallen during the collision. An officer at the scene was handed the insurance details of Safaida Bi as the other driver. Those details were the same details later included in a claim form as the driver and car involved. However an innocent and un-involved passenger described the driver as an Asian man in his 40s.

"The piece of paper which was handed to the officer was fingerprinted and matched to staff at City Claims 4 U. Coincidentally Shoaib Nawaz who works for City Claims 4 U was also an 'injured' passenger on the bus.

"A total of around 26 people made claims for whiplash injuries on the bus and the bus company set aside £250,000 to cover the litigation they feared would follow. However enquiries by the bus company revealed a spike in the number of passengers on that particular bus on that particular day. 

"Seven people pleaded guilty to substantive 'fraud' allegations rather than the original charge of conspiracy, their pleas were accepted. Herbert and Bi pleaded guilty to their part in the scam and Nawaz along with three others (Mohammed Gulzar, Javad Khan and Sami Selam) was found guilty after trial."

The court heard details of nine collisions as an example of what the company and the people within it had been involved in.