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IFB welcomes fraud sentencing consultation

27 June 2013

Director of the Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB), Ben Fletcher, has welcomed a new consultation on sentencing for fraud, launched today by the Sentencing Council.

The 14-week public consultation, which closes on 4 October 2013, is seeking views on sentencing for fraud, bribery and money laundering offences. A key consideration of the consultation is the principal factors that make an offence more or less serious, with the culpability of the offender and the relative harm caused to victims in particular focus.

Ben Fletcher, Director of the IFB – a not-for-profit agency tasked with investigating and disrupting organised motor insurance fraud – said:

“Fraud is anti-social and can cause untold harm to the lives of individuals and the prosperity of UK businesses. Organised motor insurance fraud, the so-called ‘crash for cash’ phenomenon doesn’t just cost insurers nearly £400 million, it sees fraudsters gamble with the lives of innocent motorists by deliberately causing crashes to make fraudulent insurance claims.”

In February this year, four fraudsters were jailed for their part in causing the death of an innocent motorist, having deliberately induced an accident on the A40 just outside London.

Fletcher added, “The damage caused by ‘crash for cash’ extends far beyond bent metal and financial loss – it’s a dangerous act that can cause injury, and in the most tragic cases cost people their lives. Victims can be left psychologically scarred and feeling vulnerable on the roads. Strong sentences send a clear deterrent message to those plotting fraud that their potential financial reward does not outweigh the risk of serving jail time.

“The Sentencing Council’s consultation is timely and welcomed by the IFB, who will be providing feedback before the October deadline and urging industry partners to engage in this important issue.”