Ten people sentenced after ‘crash for cash’ scam in Cambridgeshire

TEN people involved in a Cambridgeshire ‘crash for cash’ scam which aimed to defraud insurance companies have been sentenced.

Ringleader Ali Askher, 45, of Silverwood Road, Peterborough was jailed for three-and-a-half years at Peterborough Crown Court yesterday.

Askher ran two claim management companies in the city - Millfield Accident Claims Specialists and Premier Claim Specialists - and was the main player in the plot which had the potential to defraud insurance companies out of more than �439,000.

Police launched an investigation into fraudulent insurance claims in 2008 - more than 30 incidents were investigated and 10 claims found to be fraudulent.

The claims included accidents that had never happened, exaggerated injury claims and incidents where vehicles were taken to remote locations and crashed. Both companies ceased trading in 2008.

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Askher pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud along with the quartet below who were sentenced as follows:

• Shawizia Khatoon, 33, of Hankey Street, Peterborough - 51 weeks in prison, suspended for two years, and ordered to carry out 220 hours’ unpaid work.

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• Ali Arshad, 39, of Harris Street, Peterborough - 38-week prison sentence, suspended for two years, and ordered to carry out 200 hours’ community service.

• Rozmina Nathoo, 44, of Briar Way, Peterborough - 40-week jail term, suspended for two years, and 200 hours’ unpaid work.

• Taswin Nathoo, 47, of Briar Way, Peterborough - 28 weeks’ imprisonment, suspended for two years, and ordered to carry out 200 hours’ unpaid work.

Four others pleaded guilty to fraud and were sentenced as follows:

• Naeem Akhter, 28, of Clare Road, Millfield - 28-week prison sentence, suspended for two years, and 200 hours’ unpaid work.

• Wahid Hussain, 39, of Gladstone Street, Peterborough - 28-weeks’ imprisonment, suspended for two years.

• Misbah Hussain, 30, of Harris Street, Peterborough - 12-month community order and 200 hours’ unpaid work.

• Shafaqat Hussain, 27, of Harris Street, Peterborough - 28-week prison sentence, suspended for two years, with 200 hours’ unpaid work.

Mohammed Faisal Ali, 20, pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud and was sentenced to a 12-month community order with 260 hours’ unpaid work.

Det Con Greg Page said: “This was a sophisticated conspiracy where the main players sought to cash in by making false claims.

“This type of offence is very serious and is not a victimless crime. Fraudulent claims cost the insurance industry a vast amount of money and that ultimately has a significant effect by pushing up premiums for everyone else.”

Glen Marr, Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) director added: “The criminal activity commonly known as ‘crash for cash’, has an impact on genuine insurance consumers.

“Insurance fraud adds on average an extra �44 to each annual insurance premium. Protecting the interests of genuine consumers is at the very heart of the industry counter-fraud strategy.”

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