Motor insurance fraud is far from being a victimless crime in that honest drivers have to pay for the deceit of others in the form of higher premiums. The courts are not blind to the problem, however, and, in one case, a businessman who staged a bogus road accident was ordered to repay his ill-gotten gains and came within an ace of being sent to prison.
The well-paid company director claimed that his Range Rover had been written off in a collision in which he suffered whiplash injuries. He claimed between £50,000 and £100,000 in damages from the other driver, who said that he had swerved to avoid a deer. The latter’s insurers, however, smelt a rat after online research revealed that the two men knew each other before the accident. They were Facebook friends and had, for some years, competed together in cross-country running events.
After the insurers launched proceedings, the High Court found that the director had told a series of elaborate lies. The Range Rover had in fact been damaged some time previously and the pair had conspired to stage the accident. The director was ordered to repay £19,179 that he had received from the insurers prior to his deceit being uncovered. After being found guilty of contempt of court, he also received a nine-month prison sentence, suspended for two years.
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