Huddersfield 'Crash for Cash' Fraudsters Sentenced
04 April 2014
Police in Kirklees have dismantled a cash for crash scam operating out of Kirklees as over 40 people were sentenced on Friday after a series of four linked court cases.
Sahir Mohammed, 37, of Uplands, Huddersfield and Nadeem Khalid 34, of Laund Road, Huddersfield were the ring-leaders in the sophisticated scam. Khalid received 4 and a half years for his role. Mohammed was remanded for sentencing. He has previously plead guilty to conspiracy to defraud.
Operation Thatcham was a long and painstaking investigation into allegations of so-called cash for crash.
Detective Chief Inspector Paul Jeffrey of Kirklees District Police, said:
"Friday's sentences are the result of a painstaking investigation going back to 2011 involving complex enquiries and good 'old-fashioned' detective work.
"It shows that we take the issue of so-called 'cash for crash' scams very seriously and will take whatever action is necessary to bring those who involve themselves in this crime before the courts.
"These people lived the 'high life' for too long – they were driving around in the community in expensive cars and flashing their money about - but they were always having to look over their shoulder, worried when that knock at the door would come.
"Justice has today caught up with them and it is clear that members of the local community are happy with the positive action we have taken. These people were a blight on the good name of hard working people going about their daily business.
"This enquiry involved specialist financial investigators working closely with the Ministry of Justice and the Insurance Fraud Bureau to unravel the complex network operating in the area. But the scale of this fraud did not deter the team and from today people are behind bars thanks to their dedication and commitment."
A number of people received prison time. Others received suspended sentences and/or community orders. Anyone who had benefited financially from the scam was ordered to pay back the money.
And the West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Mark Burns-Williamson, also welcomed the message today's sentencing sends out to the community.
West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Mark Burns-Williamson said: "This is an excellent outcome on a subject of particular concern.
"The scale of this offence really highlights the dedication of the investigating officers whose hard work paid off to the benefit of local people.
"I have heard firsthand how insurance premiums have been affected by those taking advantage of the system through criminal means.
"I have now included road safety in my Police and Crime Plan which brings further focus on this issue and its wider implications."
Ben Fletcher, Director of the Insurance Fraud Bureau, said:
"Insurance fraud is a national problem that directly affects honest motorists and policyholders. Scams like these cost the industry nearly £400m each year; they inflate insurance premiums and they put innocent road users in harm's way. Far from being a 'victimless crime', insurance fraudsters dip their hands in our pockets and make victims of us all.
"We welcome the opportunity to collaborate with the West Yorkshire Police and put fraudsters behind bars to send a clear message to other would-be fraudsters in the area."