A claims firm boss who forged court documents to start personal injury cases has been jailed for contempt. Haroon Karim, who was a director of various claims management companies, was found guilty of contempt last week at the High Court in Nottingham. His Honour Judge Godsmark QC sentenced the 33-year-old to six months’ imprisonment, saying he made ‘fanciful and speculative assertions’ for substantial rewards.
The proceedings arose from a previous case brought by defendant firm Horwich Farrelly in conjunction with insurer LV=, where the judge at Nottingham County Court ruled that a solicitor at defunct Bolton firm Asons made ‘gross failures’ in handling a PI claim where documents were found to contain forged signatures.
At the trial, heard over five days in September 2017, the judge also ruled that Karim, whose company had referred the claim to Asons, had forged a claimant’s signatures on these documents, including the claim form used to start proceedings, without their knowledge.
Karim, from Nottingham and formerly a director of ACA Claims Ltd, ACA Accident Claims Assistant Ltd, Medicals Elite Ltd, Easy Go Hire Ltd and Medical Healthcare Services Ltd, was one of Asons’ larger sources of work before it was shut down by the Solicitors Regulation Authority in 2017.
Ronan McCann, managing partner at national firm Horwich Farrelly, said it was committed to working alongside insurers to ensure wrongdoers are punished. ‘This case sends a clear message to professional enablers that insurers will not stop in their efforts to stamp out fraudulent claims, and ensure that honest customers do not suffer from the dishonest actions of others,’ said McCann.
Clare Lunn, LV= fraud director, confirmed the firm will get back all its costs, adding: ‘As an industry, we need to continue to take a tough stance against such conduct which will act as a deterrent to stop underhand practices.’