Fraud fighters say they have closed the book on more than 150 individuals at the centre of a major insurance ’cash for crash’ scam. The Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) last Friday announced the conclusion of the latest series of trials in which 77 fraudsters either pleaded or were found guilty.
Investigations had begun by Gwent Police into a garage in Cardiff called EASIFIX, with enquiries lasting four and a half years before the IFB was called in.
The bureau was able to link the damaged vehicles, as well as vehicle parts found at the garage, with a number of deceptive insurance claims. Initially, 60 incidents involving around 150 claimants were identified, resulting in the arrest and charging of 87 people by Gwent Police. Most were prosecuted for a range of offences, including conspiracy to defraud and fraud by misrepresentation.
Following the original investigation, a further 22 staged incidents and 80 additional individuals were linked to the scam. Three were found not guilty. The remainder had their cases concluded last week.
Jason Potter, IFB’s head of investigations, said the latest prosecutions were the continuation of one of the largest and longest investigations in the organisation’s 12-year history. ‘What may have seemed to the fraudsters like a quick way to make money has ultimately results in a total of 158 guilty verdicts across both phases of the investigations,’ he added.