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Fraudsters found guilty of “crash-for-cash” scam

Four people involved in a “crash-for-cash” scam worth nearly £500,000 were found guilty at Sheffield Crown Court yesterday.

Crashed Car

The four people from across England and Wales were convicted at court following a six-week hearing. Seven other people involved have pleaded guilty and will be sentenced at a later date.

Inquiries began two years ago by South Yorkshire Police’s Economic Crime team after a collision involving a 12-tonne bus and a Vauxhall Zafira in the Burngreave area of Sheffield.

The force said investigations into claims following the crash led to a wider inquiry into the activities of a Sheffield-based accident claims company called City Claims 4 U, a company owned and run by one of the gang members. Officers worked closely with the Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB), a London-based industry organisation, and FirstGroup to identify and gather evidence.

Professionally planned and highly organised

DC Mark Wootton, who led the investigation, said: “This was a professionally-planned, highly-organised group of individuals who set out to defraud a number of insurance companies by making deliberate false claims and pocketing the money for themselves. The fraud involved false claims for personal injury, vehicle damage, over-inflated recovery and storage costs, together with extortionate and false claims for hire vehicles from CCC Hire 4 U, a company owned and run by Mohammed Omar Gulzar.”

Scams like these increase insurance premiums

Ben Fletcher, Director of the IFB, currently investigating 90+ criminal gangs involved in ‘crash- for-cash’ fraud, said: “Scams like this expose the shocking lengths fraudsters go to make money through what they wrongly assume is a victimless crime. ‘Crash-for-cash’ costs the insurance industry £392 million per year, but its honest policyholders who ultimately have their pockets picked by the fraudsters”

For further information visit the South Yorkshire Police website.

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To report a fraud and receive a police crime reference number, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use our online fraud reporting tool.

Related links

Seven men sentenced over car finance scam
Hire car fraud is costing motorists and insurers millions each year

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