A gang deliberately staged a road traffic accident involving a bus as part of a major ‘crash for cash’ scam worth almost £500,000, a court has heard.
Police said the group set out to defraud insurance companies by making false
car crash claims and pocketing the money for themselves.
Probe sparked by crash
Sheffield Crown Court heard how a police investigation was sparked by the crash between a bus and a car in Sheffield in June 2011.
The bus, which was carrying 26 passengers, was involved in a minor collision with a Vauxhall Zafira in the Burngreave area of the city.
But investigations following the incident led to a wider inquiry into the activities of a Sheffield-based accident claims company called City Claims 4 U, run by defendants Mohammed Omar Gulzar and Shoaib Nawaz.
South Yorkshire Police discovered that bus driver Adam Herbert was in on the plot and they went on to identify suspects involved in another 10 incidents in Halifax, Sheffield and Rotherham.
Warrants were executed at a number of addresses linked to City Claims 4 U after officers received information that it had been submitting fraudulent claims to insurance companies. These claims were boosted by false claims for the hiring out of replacement vehicles provided by CCC Hire 4 U – another company owned by Gulzar.
Personal injury claims
Police said the fraud involved false personal injury claims along with claims for vehicle damage, over-inflated recovery and storage costs. These were coupled with “extortionate and false claims” for hire vehicles from Gulzar’s firm.
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.”
Four people were found guilty of conspiracy to defraud insurance companies between January 1 and July 31 2011, while another seven had already pleaded guilty. Those convicted will be sentenced at a later date.
If you have been injured in a genuine road traffic accident, Accident Advice Helpline can put you in touch with a specialist lawyer to help you claim compensation. To discuss your claim with a member of our expert team dial 0800 689 0500 now.
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