A crash for cash gang from Birmingham that staged an accident in order to make over £30k in insurance claims has been sentenced today, 08 March at the Old Bailey.
The group was sentenced to a total of 37 months’ imprisonment (suspended for two years), ordered to pay £10,800 in compensation and costs and ordered to carry out over 700hrs of unpaid work.
The fraud was uncovered after the insurer, RSA, became suspicious and referred the case to officers from the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department, part of the City of London Police. Detectives eventually found messages on the phone of one of the suspects, which detailed how he was struggling to pay for the finance on the car involved and had arranged to stage the crash to get a pay-out from the insurer.
On 8 July, 2013, Maqsood Ahmed contacted his insurer, RSA, to report that he’d been involved in a collision whilst driving his Citroen C4 in Lea Hall Road, Birmingham the night before.
Ahmed claimed that he was driving along the street when he bent down to pick up a phone that had been dropped by a passenger, and in doing so lost control and hit a parked Mercedes C63 AMG.
Mohammed Munir, the owner of the Mercedes also got in touch with RSA later the same day to report the damage to his car.
Both vehicles were recovered by the same company ‘Road Accident Help’ but when RSA subsequently came to collect the vehicles and take them to their approved garage, they were charged excessively high fees for the storage of the vehicles, which were had only been stored for two days.
Furthermore, two passengers in Ahmed’s car at the time of the collision, Khalid and Kashif Mahmood, also submitted personal injury claims totalling over £8,000 via Road Accident Help.
However, when RSA’s engineers examined the two cars, they noted that the damage to the vehicles was not consistent with the story given. In addition, the general condition of the Citroen (aside from the collision damage) was so bad that it was, in their opinion, not driveable and the case was referred to IFED officers to investigate.
All four were arrested on 21 January 2014 and officers also seized phones belonging to the men. When they examined Munir’s phone, they found messages sent by Munir to another number, where he was asking to find somebody willing to stage a collision and take the blame. Further enquiries revealed that Munir bought the Mercedes on finance and was struggling to make the payments on it.
Naveed Mohammed, who was a partner in Road Accident Help was also interviewed in May 2015 and officers questioned him about the recovery of the two vehicles. Although he initially claimed that Ahemd and Munir called him for the vehicles to be recovered, phone records showed that no calls were made or received at the times claimed, which showed that the ‘recovery’ never happened.
All five were eventually charged with conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation, with Munir also charged with money laundering (in relation to the benefit he received from the hire car RSA provided initially after the collision).
Detective Sergeant Matt Hussey, from the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department said:
“This whole fraud began because Munir couldn’t afford the finance payments on his Mercedes and he thought insurance fraud was an easy way out.
“From Munir instigating the fraud, to Ahmed making up the collision, to the Mahmood brothers making false injury claims and then finally Mohammed who facilitated the whole story by using his company to try and give it an air of credibility.
“All five were out to make money and defraud the insurer, which ultimately hurts honest customers with higher premiums. Hopefully, this result will serve as a warning to others considering doing the same, that insurance fraud will be investigated and those responsible could end up with a criminal conviction.”
John Beadle, UK Head of Financial Crime and Counter Fraud at RSA said: “RSA works closely with IFED to ensure that people that are guilty of fraud are brought to justice. This case once again demonstrates the serious consequences of fraud and the increasing severity of custodial sentences delivered to fraudsters. I hope this serves as a successful deterrent to anyone considering committing fraud.”
All five men pleaded guilty at the Old Bailey to the offences with which they were charged and were sentenced to the following:
- Mohammed Munir (20/09/1987) of Bowyer Road, Birmingham – 10 months’ imprisonment (suspended for two years), 200 hours unpaid work, £1000 costs and £1250 compensation. Munir was also sentenced to four months’ imprisonment (concurrent and suspended) in relation to money laundering offence.
- Maqsood Ahmed (16/06/1977) of Seven Acres Road, Halesowen – 10 months imprisonment (suspended), 200 hours unpaid work, £1000 costs and £1250 compensation.
- Khalid Mahmood (31/01/1991) of Lea Hall Road, Birmingham – nine months imprisonment (suspended), 160 hours unpaid work, £2000 costs and £1000 compensation.
- Kashif Mahmood (01/01/1993) of Lea Hall Road, Birmingham – four months imprisonment (suspended, 80 hours unpaid work, £1000 costs and £650 compensation.
- Naveed Mohammed (15/02/1991) of Bromfield Road, Birmingham – four months imprisonment (suspended), 80 hours unpaid work, £1000 costs and £650 compensation.