By: 22 January 2024
Retailer and Keoghs collaborate to unravel fraud ring

Legal firm Keoghs and a major retailer have successfully exposed and defeated a complex fraud ring. This involved staged accidents between delivery vans and high-value cars. The three-year investigation, led by Keoghs’ Stuart Clemson and Laura East, delved into 33 separate incidents. They employed forensic engineering and handwriting analysis.

The investigation initially faced challenges due to the lack of links among the claimants. However, the Keoghs counter-fraud team’s research revealed a common method of working. Delivery drivers consistently reported fault on their part, forcing the retailer to admit liability. Suspicion further arose as the same garages were used for claimants’ car repairs.

Handwriting experts uncovered similarities in documents filled out at accident scenes. This indicated the involvement of a single individual orchestrating the incidents. Forensic engineering played a crucial role, revealing damage inconsistent with genuine accidents, including signs of pre-existing damage or intentional harm.

The subsequent trial was lengthy, involving 60,000 pages of documents shared across five separate trials. The Keoghs team effectively managed the procedural complexities, emphasising transparency to make sure all parties were aware of their legal obligations.

By the time the conspiracy was fully exposed, 13 claims had been issued at different stages of litigation. The decision to manage the proceedings together in a single action allowed for parallel processing, streamlining the legal process.

The outcome of the trial was a success, with the court finding that the 14 parties involved had engaged in deceitful practices to defraud the retailer. Damages totalling £224,000 were awarded.

The retailer, awarded damages of £285,610.20, is considering further actions against complicit parties.

The success of this case underscores the importance of collaborative efforts between legal teams and businesses in combatting fraud schemes.

Image: Canva
Emma Cockings
Emma is a junior editor for Claims Media.