By: 2 April 2017
Private prosecution by APU saves insurer £30,000 and jails conman after crashing fake Ferrari

A motor fraudster has been sentenced to 18 months in prison at Snaresbrook Crown Court after having admitted to crashing his fake Ferrari to make a bogus claim which paid out £29,000.

Adam Islam pled guilty to fraud by false representation following the private prosecution led by Asset Protection Unit (APU).

The incident occurred on 12 September 2014, when Islam, of Southwold Drive, Barking, Essex, crashed his Toyota MR2, which was dressed up to look like a Ferrari F430, into his friend’s hired Audi A1.

Islam and his accomplice Mohammed Abu Khayer convinced his insurer LV= to pay out £29,000 after claiming his car had broken down on a bend before being hit, and that he did not know the driver. As the at-fault vehicle was insured by the hire company, Accident Exchange, Khayer would incur no personal cost by accepting liability for the accident and could split the hefty insurance pay-out with Islam. Following the accident, Islam tried to claim for another credit hire car from a separate company. This was quickly detected by Hill-Dickinson’s Netfoil database.

APU, appointed by sister company Accident Exchange to take up the case, deployed its team of forensic experts and former police officers to establish that the vehicle that hit Islam’s fake Ferrari was driven by Khayer, who had hired the vehicle just days before the crash.

Further investigation found that Islam had recently failed to sell his car online for £30,000, prompting further suspicion of likely insurance fraud.

APU teamed up with Hill Dickinson to launch a private investigation into the case. Hill Dickinson’s expert advocacy team, led by in-house counsel, Mark Stanger worked with the APU team, conducting the advocacy at all court hearings.

Islam’s accomplice, Khayer, also received a 12 month custodial sentence suspended for two years, and was ordered to compensate Accident Exchange and its insurer, totalling more than £10,000.

After Islam and Abu Khayer pleaded guilty on 16 March, Judge Peters QC commented on the private prosecution, saying: “I see no reason why organisations should be treated as suffering less harm than if it were an individual.”

The judge who sentenced the pair on 30 March, HHJ Dawson, added: “If it wasn’t for the investigation by one of the companies, it [the fraud] may well have been missed.

“Almost immediately after the crash, you [Islam and Khayer] both launched into a sophisticated fraud. This is not a victimless crime; we all end up paying more for car insurance. It also undermines the trust from insurance companies in the public, which causes delay in genuine payments. More fraud makes it more difficult for honest people to be paid.”

Neil Thomas, director of Investigative Services at APU, said: “The sentence is a big step for the industry, and saving insurers such a large sum is the icing on the cake. It all adds up, and we have demonstrated that championing new approaches by working with Hill Dickinson, we can help mitigate fraud to ultimately save drivers from increased premiums”.

Peter Oakes, head of fraud at Hill Dickinson said that the case had sent a powerful message to would-be fraudsters, that their fraud will be detected and prosecuted.