Suspended sentence for insurance fraud

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A NELSON man who created a string of fraudulent insurance policies to make repeated bogus claims for “lost” smartphones has been given a suspended jail term.

Shufahit Hussain took out 10 home contents insurance policies with one insurer and then claimed for a missing smartphone valued between £550 and £900 on each policy. Hussain used different addresses in his policy applications but used the surname Smith repeatedly in the alias names he gave.

Recognising the claims as fraudulent, Hussain’s insurer referred them to the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department, hosted by the City of London Police.

Hussain had used his own bankcard to set up the policies and so, soon after, IFED detectives arrested the 23-year-old at his home on Leeds Road, Nelson.

Hussain could not prove he had ever owned the smartphones he’d claimed for – submitting a number of smartphone receipts downloaded from internet sites. He was charged with 10 counts of fraud by false representation.

Pleading guilty to the frauds on his first appearance at City of London Magistrates’ Court, Hussain was handed a six-week jail term suspended for one year. He will also have to complete 100 hours unpaid work and pay £85 court costs.

The head of IFED, Det. Ch. Insp. Dave Wood, said: “Insurance fraud in all its forms will not be tolerated, wherever it has been committed.

“There is still a public perception that making bogus claims to insurance companies about lost or stolen property, accidents or ill-health is somehow acceptable. IFED detectives bringing fraudsters throughout England and Wales to justice is evidence of how committed we are to changing this culture.”

IFED was set up with funding from the insurance industry to combat an area of criminality estimated to cost the UK economy £3 billion per year – the equivalent of £50 for every insurance policy holder.