Insurance Fraud NEWS
Bungled emails bust suspected setup wreck in UK
December 04, 2019, London,
A web of lies spun by four fraudsters was unravelled by detectives investigating their 'crash for cash' scam.
Police were called when insurers became suspicious about a claim for a collision on the M56 near Runcorn.
And when those involved - including three men from Wirral - offered different stories they ended up being prosecuted rather than paid out.
A ''crash" involving Arnold Flanagan, Levi Ireland, Jamie Howard and Thomas Johnson on July 21, 2016, led to a series of claims to insurers LV.
They were contacted about the incident when a solicitor for Ireland claimed his Mazda had been involved in a crash with a Fiat Punto.
But the insurers found a contact email address submitted by Ireland was the same as one used by Flanagan when he had taken out a policy for his Fiat Punto just three weeks before the incident.
When Flanagan submitted his own claim to LV over the alleged crash - followed by requests from Howard and Johnson, who said they were passengers in his Punto - the insurer became suspicious.
After finding social media links between the four, the insurer rejected the claims and contacted the police, leading to a probe by the City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED).
Detectives then listened as interviews led to completely different stories being told by the men:
Ireland admitted he knew Flanagan, but said it was by chance Flanagan and Howard had crashed into the back of his car
Flanagan and Howard said their car had broken down and they phoned Ireland to come and tow them away. Flanagan said Ireland's car had collided with theirs three times whilst being towed
Howard said just one crash, not three, occurred
Johnson was not a passenger, but claimed Flanagan had offered him the chance to make some money if he agreed to say he was. Johnson said he agreed initially, but changed his mind and asked Flanagan to leave him out of the fraud.
When interviewed again, Flanagan admitted he had made a fraudulent insurance application as he did not have a driving licence, but maintained there had been no conspiracy to commit fraud.
However, Flanagan pleaded guilty to the conspiracy on the first day of his trial and Howard later changed his plea to guilty. Thomas Johnson and Levi Ireland had previously pleaded guilty before the trial began.