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Some good news to come out of the courts in the last few days is the fact that two fraudulent lying friends who foolishly and illegally decided that they would claim against Zurich and Allianz Insurance policies in made up ‘slip and trip’ and ‘RTA’ claims scams have both been found guilty and been handed two year suspended sentences.
One claimant, Salina Seepersand managed to obtain the hefty sum of almost £40,000 from the insurers by making up claims against an employer for a car crash in a company car and later by inventing a fake slip accident in a shopping center and claiming against them for the fall. In both cases, it was indicated that a Jay Singh had witnessed the incidents.
In the first instance defendant Salina Seepersand, a lawyer for East Hertfordshire District Council made a claim against an Allianz insured shopping centre, after she claimed to have slipped on stairs in 2004. After spinning a web of lies, Allianz accepted liability as it had been claimed that the 3rd party had failed to dry the floor or provide sufficient signage after cleaning to highlight the risk of slipping hazards.
Allianz initially defended the claim on the basis that hazard signs had been displayed but eventually had to give in when witness Jay Singh came forward, supporting the claimant’s allegations. The claim was subsequently settled for just under £30 000.
In the second case, a claim was made against Zurich by Seepersand. The truth was that she had driven her BMW company car, insured by Zurich, into a stationary vehicle and was at fault. However, Seepersand created a fake claim involving her willing witness (Singh) in which he was alleged to have driven into the back of her vehicle. Zurich initially paid out £7,000 but instructed DAC Beachcroft to investigate the matter.
The law firm found the defendants were involved in the 2004 claim. They were reported to Surrey Police and arrested. Seepersand received 12 months for the first incident and nine months for the second, suspended for two years and 40 hours community service. She will also have to repay £18000 in the next 18 months.
Singh was handed eight months for the 2004 case and 12 months for the latter, which was also suspended for two years. The Crown will sell the car and credit the money to Zurich.
Scott Clayton, fraud investigations manager at Zurich said: “Cash for crash incidents are increasing and it’s a crime that affects all law abiding customers through increased premiums.
“Mrs Seepersand was a local government lawyer with experience of criminal law so really should have known better. We really want the message to get out that Zurich always looks to prosecute people who wilfully claim for things they aren’t entitled to, especially when “crashes” are staged. It’s simply not acceptable and you will be found out.”
Mihir Pandya, fraud manager at Allianz added: “This conviction sends out an important message to would-be insurance fraudsters. Ordinarily these crimes would carry a custodial sentence, had it not been for mitigating circumstances that had to be considered for both guilty parties.
“The case highlights just how vigilant the insurance industry now needs to be as fraudsters are no longer relying on one type of scam to cheat the system. “Allianz continues to take a zero-tolerance approach to perpetrators of fraud in order to protect honest policyholders.”
So be warned cheats, you are not welcome and you will be found out. We welcome cases like this as the honest claimants need access to compensation. If fraud is allowed to be carried out, it jeopardises claims for the innocent and genuine claimants.