A conman who invented 12 car crashes in two years using multiple aliases and scrapped cars to scam £65,000 from an insurer has been jailed for 18 months.
Kevin Heartbreak was sentenced at the Old Bailey today (Thursday 23 May 2013) after admitting that he insured scrap cars with Aviva under assumed names and then reported the cars were in accidents. And, between July 2010 and August 2012, while trading as Thunder Storm Cars, he also lodged bogus damage and whiplash claims as well as car recovery and storage claims.
But 28-year-old Heartbreak came unstuck when Aviva established that Thunder Storm Cars was not storing the vehicles alleged to have been involved and the insurer made a referral to the City of London Police Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED).
IFED detectives arrested Heartbreak at his rented flat in Middlesex in August 2012 and seized pay-as-you-go mobile phones, identity documents, vehicle documents and computers.
Some of the mobile phones had notes stuck to them bearing two names, a telephone number and the name of an insurer. Detectives suspect the notes acted as an aid to remind Heartbreak of the fabricated names he had reported were involved in each fictional crash using a specific mobile phone.
The identity documents revealed Heartbreak, of Boston Gardens, Brentford, had changed his name by deed poll numerous times since 2008. Detectives believe this allowed him to legitimately obtain identity documents, including driving licenses, in different names.
Heartbreak was subsequently charged with 12 counts of fraud by false representation, one count of money laundering and another of possession of a false identity document. He later pleaded guilty to 11 counts of fraud by false representation.
DS Mark Forster, who led IFED’s investigation, said: “Heartbreak was a con artist who carefully choreographed every aspect of the crashes, including changing his name, in an attempt to avoid detection.
“However, the personal greed that drove him to re-offend ultimately led to his downfall, with the insurer discovering his scam and then IFED investigating and stopping his criminal enterprise."
IFED has begun financial confiscation proceedings against Heartbreak.
Tom Gardiner, Head of Fraud, Aviva, said, “This is another example of systematic and organised motor and personal injury fraud, and of insurers’ increasing ability to detect and work with others prosecute these crimes.
“In this instance, Aviva identified the fraud through matching personal details involving fictitious policyholders and claimants for multiple bogus claims worth tens of thousands of pounds. This prosecution sends a clear message to would-be fraudsters that insurers are increasingly detecting fraud and working with the police and criminal justice agencies to successfully prosecute those responsible.