Security News & Tips
CCTV captures the moment a con artist pretends to slip in order to claim compensation
A con-artist who deliberately ‘slipped’ on a wet bag in a Lidl supermarket and then made a bogus £10,000 insurance claim has been given a suspended prison sentence and ordered to do 280 hours community service.
Waheed Iqbal, a businessman, was convicted of fraud after claiming he had hit his head after slipping on a plastic bag in a supermarket aisle in December 2012.
But CCTV footage caught the 36-year-old looking round to check the coast was clear, before deliberately stepping on the bag and taking a tumble.
Iqbal was wheeled out of the store to an ambulance but it was later revealed how he had asked the paramedics to stop before they reached the A&E so that he could go return to the shop and speak to the manager about recording the incident.
The following day he went to hospital complaining of pain and vomiting.
During the investigation it was also discovered that he had submitted a bogus personal injury insurance claim worth £3,800 following an incident at a gym in which he claimed he had been knocked out by the buckles on a punch bag.
Iqbal voluntarily attended a police station for interview in September 2013 and was found guilty of two counts of fraud by false representation at Bradford and Keighley Magistrates’ Court in autumn 2014.
Sentencing him at Bradford Crown Court, Judge Jonathan Rose, said he was pleased that the weather forecast predicted cold weather during the period when Iqbal would be completing his community service.
He said: “I have heard the weather forecast. It always crosses my mind that community orders might be performed outside in unpleasant cicumstances.”
He went on: “You have been described as a fool. You are not a fool, you are a criminal and you have sought to steal, not from insurance companies, but from every decent responsibly person who pays their premiums.”
The judge said Iqbal had wasted NHS resources and the valuable time or doctors, nurses and paramedics with his fictitious injuries.
He was ordered to pay Lidl’s insurers, AIG, £1,000, the gym insurers, Royal Sun Alliance £7,000, the NHS £200 and also pay prosecution costs of £620 and a £100 victim surcharge.
The investigation was carried out by the City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED).
Detective Chief Inspector Dave Wood said: “Iqbal targeted this supermarket and gym knowing they would be fully insured and therefore the perfect victim for his staged accidents and fictitious personal injury claims.
“To add insult to his bogus injury claims Iqbal also thought nothing of wasting the emergency and health services’ time in a bid to get medical records to bolster his claims.
“Thanks to the shared commitment of the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department and the insurance industry, to uncover and bring to justice con-artists like Iqbal, yet another fraudster has today been taken off our streets and put behind bars.
“Hopefully his time in a prison cell will wake him up to the fact that insurance fraud is a real crime with serious consequences.”
David Halstead, Fraud Manager at AIG, said: “This is an extremely pleasing result for both AIG and our Insured, and is the result of working closely with the IFED team. AIG takes a tough stance on tackling insurance fraud, which ensures that customers should not have to pay the price for fraudsters through higher premiums.
John Beadle, Head of Counter Fraud and Financial Crime at RSA, said: “I do not know when people are going to realise that insurers are alert to this type of fraud, they will be caught and suffer the consequences.
“We fully support IFED and work closely with them and Iqbal’s sentence will be compounded by him being placed on the Insurance Fraud Register.
“This should serve as a lesson to anyone tempted to commit this type of fraud in the future.”