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IFED host first ever industry debrief event following conclusion of biggest commercial property fraud case

• IFED hosted the City of London Police’s first ever industry debrief event
• The debrief focused on IFED’s biggest case of commercial property fraud, worth over £1m
• Presentations were given by IFED officers along with other industry experts

Last week (Thursday 23 May 2019), the City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED) hosted the force’s first ever industry debrief event, focused on the unit’s biggest case of commercial property fraud.

The one-day debrief was held at West Midlands Police Museum, the ‘Lock-up’ and saw IFED joined by various members of the insurance industry, many of which were involved in the case. They included insurers, loss adjusters, brokers, regulators, forensic experts and speech analysts.

A range of aspects of the case were covered throughout the day, with the main aims being to:

- provide background information on IFED’s investigation with the insurance industry;
- highlight the techniques used by the organised crime group (OCG) in carrying out the fraud;
- share lessons learned in how the insurance industry can prevent such fraud being committed in the future.

Detective Inspector Lara Xenoudakis, of IFED, said:

“We’re proud to be the first unit in the City of London Police to deliver an event like this. As well as sharing the good work from the investigation, we were able to highlight some areas of best practice and learning to be taken forward.”

“We’re delighted with the feedback we have received from this debrief. Events such as this will form a key part of our strategy going forward, and help to avert instances of this type of fraud from happening again”.

The investigation, which involved a North London OCG who defrauded insurers out of more than £1m, concluded in November 2018 with the group receiving a collective 14 years in prison.

The case was first referred to IFED by Zurich Insurance and following the unit’s subsequent investigation, it was discovered that the OCG had targeted 14 different insurers with fraudulent claims of property damage and loss of earnings at multiple bars and restaurants across England.

Detective Constable Daniel Dankoff, who led the investigation for IFED, said:

“The crime group used a complex set of tactics to try and remain undetected and defraud numerous members of the insurance and banking industries for several years.”

As well as presentations from IFED officers, at the event, there were also contributions from members of the insurance industry involved in the case. These included Zurich’s lead investigator who provided background of their original referral to IFED, experts from Hawkins Forensics who spoke about investigations into escape of water, and a speech analyst from J P French.

The feedback for the event was extremely positive, with attendees citing the value in holding such events and wanting more to be held for future cases.

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