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Fraudster who faked car accident to claim compensation brought to justice by LV=

Press release: 03/01/2013

A Doncaster-based fraudster has been sentenced to eight months in prison after attempting to claim compensation for a car accident that never happened.

Michael Rajinder Singh, aged 47 and from Doncaster, originally told his insurers that on 16 January 2010 he was involved in a car accident with a Mr Rudzam Didzus. Mr Singh said he was driving a Rover along the Winchester Road in Doncaster when Mr Didzus, who was driving a BMW, emerged from a side road and collided with his car.

Mr Didzus was insured by LV= car insurance and had the claim been genuine, LV= would have paid out in excess of £120,000. The costs sought included medical treatment for the two drivers and five fictitious passengers for personal injuries, including whiplash, as well as car repairs, car hire and storage, and the claimants’ legal fees.

The claim was investigated by LV=’s claims crime prevention team as there were a number of factors that made it suspicious. There was no police involvement, the vehicle damage was inconsistent with the description of the accident and the claim was made just a few days after Mr Didzus took out his car insurance policy.

After the investigation, LV= turned down the claim on the grounds that the accident had never taken place. At this point, Mr Singh began proceedings against LV= for not paying his claim, which was dismissed in court on 18 September 2012. LV= then began proceedings against Mr Singh for contempt of court and on Wednesday 19 December, Mr Singh was sentenced to eight months in prison at Sheffield County Court.

Judge Robinson commented that: "Those tempted to make fraudulent claims from fictitious accidents should take heed. False claims take up valuable court time that could be better spent resolving genuine disputes. Fraud costs the insurance industry an eye-watering £2 billion pounds each year and honest motorists would also agree that money could be better spent."

Martin Milliner, Technical Claims Director for LV=, said: "Fraud is a serious blight to the insurance industry and drives up the cost of premiums for all. We felt it was important to issue proceedings against Mr Singh in order to deter others from committing this type of crime. The evidence in this case was overwhelming and as a result Mr Singh received a custodial sentence. We hope this will send a message not just to other criminals but also to the 'professional enablers' that support financial crime."

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About LV=

LV= employs 5,500 people and serves over five million customers with a range of financial products. We are the UK's largest friendly society and a leading financial mutual.

When we started in 1843 our goal was to give financial security to more than just a privileged few and for many decades we were most commonly associated with providing a method of saving to people of modest means. Today we follow a similar purpose, helping people to protect and provide for the things they love, although on a much larger scale and through a wide range of financial services including insurance, investment and retirement products.

We offer our services direct to consumers, as well as through IFAs and brokers, and through strategic partnerships with organisations such as ASDA, Nationwide Building Society and a range of trades unions.

LVFS is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority, register number 110035. LVFS is a member of the ABI, the AFM and ILAG. Registered address: County Gates, Bournemouth BH1 2NF.