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Insurance claims handler jailed for stealing £390k from employer

The man stole £390k by amending claims documents to divert money into his bank account
He was dismissed for unrelated reasons, but tried to steal a further £80k after he’d left
Using another colleague’s name, he attempted to gain access to his old office to amend more claims

A man has been jailed after he abused his position as an insurance claims handler to steal £390,478 from his employer by diverting customer payments into his own account.

On Monday 5 August 2019, James Beaver, 40, of Buckhurst Way, Redbridge, was sentenced at Central Criminal Court to two years in jail. A few weeks earlier (Monday 8 July 2019), he pleaded guilty at City of London Magistrates’ Court to one count of fraud by abuse of position, one count of fraud by false representation and one count of money laundering.

The City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED) led the criminal investigation into his fraudulent activity.

IFED first became aware of Beaver when they received a referral from insurance company AIG who Beaver used to work for as an expert claims handler. Despite receiving support from AIG during his time of employment, Beaver was dismissed in January 2018 for gross misconduct, though the reasons were unrelated to his fraudulent activity.

Following his dismissal, he made an attempt to gain entry to his ex-employer’s office on Fenchurch Street during non-working hours, by claiming to be another current member of staff. He was denied entry and security staff raised the alarm after which a full investigation into Beaver began.

Detective Constable Justin Hawes, from the City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department, said:

“Beaver found himself in a hopeless situation in his personal life and unfortunately chose to steal from others rather than seek out the help he so desperately needed.

“IFED takes all cases of insurance fraud extremely seriously, no matter the individual’s circumstances. We continue to work effectively with insurers to try and eradicate fraudulent activity within the industry and deter anyone who is thinking of getting involved.

“Beaver must now pay the price for actions, not just with the sentence handed down by the court, but also with the loss of his job and reputation after he abused the trust given to him by his employers.”

It was discovered that between May 2016 and January 2018, Beaver made 91 payments to his own bank account – totalling £345,235 – by creating false claims and changing client bank details to his own. He also managed to steal £45,243 from the company after he’d left, by making a further three fraudulent payments to himself.

Beaver admitted in interview all the money he had taken from AIG was used to fund a drug habit he developed after the tragic death of his young son.

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