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IFED puts brakes on car thief’s crime spree

The man fraudulently used DVLA registration certificates to insure several cars
He would then report it as stolen to make an insurance claim
He also used fake bank statements to obtain a Jaguar on a hire purchase which he sold for over £14,000

A man has been sentenced after he falsely assumed ownership of several cars, insured them and then reported each as stolen, to try and get insurance pay-outs totalling £100,000. 

On Thursday 30 January 2020, Louis King, 29, of Fisher Place, Widnes, Cheshire, was sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court to 16 months imprisonment, suspended for 24 months. He also received a 35 day rehabilitation activity requirement and 200 hours community service. A month earlier (02/01/2020), he pleaded guilty at Warrington Magistrates Court to seven counts of fraud by false representation. 

The City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED), who led the case, launched a criminal investigation into King’s fraudulent activity following a referral from insurers, including AXA, Churchill Insurance and LV= General Insurance.

Detective Constable Joanne Farrell, who led the investigation for the City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED), said: 

“King is a deceitful individual, intent on making money through whatever fraudulent methods possible.

“With valuable support from the insurers affected in this case, our investigation revealed King’s trail of fraudulent activity and he has been rightfully punished.”

It was discovered that King had been identifying cars on auction websites and had obtained DVLA V5C registration certificates for them, claiming he was the new owner. He then insured each vehicle with various insurers, and used the certificate to falsely verify ownership.  

Once he’d insured the car, King would go on to report it as stolen, in order to try and get an insurance pay-out. He managed to fraudulently gain £13,486, but would have stolen £100,000 if all of his claims had been successful. 

On one occasion, King stole a car from a car dealership after a test drive, insured it and reported it as stolen to make a false insurance claim. 

In another case, King assumed ownership of a vehicle that had just been sold on by a man whose hobby involved repairing and selling damaged cars. The car was subsequently seized by police and the man had to reimburse the original purchaser £5,000.

During the investigation, IFED also uncovered that King had used fake bank statements and pay slips to show that he was receiving a much greater income than he was actually earning. He used this false paperwork to get a Jaguar on a hire purchase agreement with a car finance company. 

However, after the sale, King didn’t make any of the scheduled £600 monthly repayments, and evidence suggested the car was then sold on for £14,500 – considerably less than its £20,000 value. As a result, the car finance company ended up losing £20,000, and a further £17,000 through the interest they should have earned. 

Quotes from insurers involved:

Tom Wilson, Senior Counter Fraud Operations Manager at AXA Insurance, said: 

“Collaboration between insurers and law enforcement has once again brought a callous fraudster to justice. It gives us great satisfaction because it’s only right and it’s in the best interest of our customers. We also hope it sends out a clear message to other fraudsters: we’ve got the skills and determination to catch you.”

Mike Brown, Head of Counter Fraud Intelligence at Churchill car insurance, said:

“The actions of insurance fraudsters increases premiums for honest customers and costs the insurance industry millions of pounds a year. We hope that today’s sentencing sends out a strong message to those who wish to commit fraud against our business and our customers. We will continue to work in close collaboration with the police to combat it.”

Clare Lunn, LV= General Insurance Director of Financial Crime, said: 

“We’re pleased with today’s sentencing outcome. The court has sentenced a serial offender who attempted to commit frauds against ourselves and a number of other insurers. Despite his best efforts to avoid detection through the use of aliases, thorough investigative work was able to expose him for the fraudster he is. This sentence sends a clear message to any would-be-fraudsters that insurers will go to great lengths to protect honest customers from the detrimental impact of fraud”.

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