Accident Exchange’s independent anti-fraud investigation division, APU helped with the successful conviction of £6.5m ‘crash for cash’ fraudster, Masi Naqshbandi at Croydon Crown Court last Friday (August 3).
Naqshbandi was found guilty of staging more than 250 crashes in order to fraudulently claim referral fees off solicitors and storage costs for the damaged vehicles for his firm, Real Accident Helpline Limited. Overall, 26 people were arrested, some pleaded guilty for fraud related offences, others were given cautions and a number were not taken further.
Led by former police officers and forensic data analysts, the 16-strong team of specialist motor-fraud investigators at Accident Exchange’s APU, recovered vital documentation and presented hundreds of pieces of indelible evidence on locations, vehicle movements and the identities of other members of Naqshbandi’s gang.
In total, investigators identified 39 of the 250 fraudulent claims.
The criminal investigation into Real Accident Helpline Limited was run by the Metropolitan Police Traffic Crime Team. In reference to APU, DC Tony Recchia said: “They provided the investigation team with invaluable assistance which helped secure the convictions and subsequent substantial sentences.”
Neil Thomas, director of investigative services at Accident Exchange and former Detective Inspector of West Midlands Police Force, commented: “The criminals involved are getting ever-more complex in their approach and tactics which makes conviction even more difficult, yet deeply satisfactory when successful.
“The Naqshbandi case is another example of the role we play in helping identify and act upon fraud but above all, how we can provide incontrovertible evidence for the prosecution.”
Naqshbandi’s imprisonment of seven years and three months is the highest ‘crash for cash’ sentence to date. In 2009, Accident Exchange identified crucial evidence that led to the conviction of Hussein Hassani for four years for his role in staging over £3m of bogus road traffic accidents.