Peter Finnigan QC

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Peter Finnigan QC: Notable case

R v Hussain & others (2008)

Peter Finnigan QC led for the prosecution in this insurance fraud case involving contrived third-party claims in the motor trade.

Ben Fitzgerald was prosecution junior.

City of London Police, 6 August 2008

Car Insurance Fraud Gang Sentenced

A group who were involved in a plot to make false car insurance claims were sentenced and ordered to pay compensation costs to AXA insurance at Croydon Crown Court recently.

During 2002 and 2003 the nine men and one woman obtained fraudulent insurance for motor vehicles and then submitted, or assisting in submitting, false claims for accidents around London and the subsequent repairs, storage, car hire and personal injury to AXA insurance.

 The claims were all against third party motor insurance policies that had been issued over the telephone.  The significance of using a third party policy was that in the event of a claim the insured vehicle will not be examined by the insurers, only the vehicle it has allegedly damaged.

On one occasion in March 2003, three of the group were involved in a claim for £6,000 for a BMW. They said the car been written off in an accident, but it was actually sold to a new owner.  When contacted by investigators the new owner said there appeared to be nothing wrong with the vehicle.

The case was referred to the City of London Police Fraud Squad in 2004 after investigators for AXA detected a particular pattern of claims via Accident Management Companies.

The ringleader, Wajid Hussain, was an accident claim manager who ran two companies Xclusive and Premier.  Hussain played a part in all the insurance claims and both these companies profited from the claims by being paid for storing the ‘damaged’ vehicles.  Following the launch of the AXA investigation Hussain issued a death threat to the insurance companies investigator.

The other major player was Mohammed Ferdhaus who worked alongside Hussain to help make the fraudulent claims. Wajid Hussain operated his companies, ‘Xclusive Auto Group’ and more latterly   ‘Premier’ from Edgware. Ferdhaus ran his company ‘Prestige Auto Group’ from Walthamstow

DC Malcolm Driscoll from City of London Police said:  "The submission of false claims impacts on us all and it is important that we do our utmost to bring responsible parties to justice"

“This has been a long and complex investigation and the help we have had from our colleagues at AXA has been invaluable in bringing it to a successful conclusion.”

Richard Davies, Group Fraud Risk Manager, AXA UK said:

”For far too long insurance fraud has not been recognised as a serious crime with prosecutions difficult to secure.  We are now seeing massive increases in detection but we still believe £1.6 billion worth of insurance fraud is committed each year.  We are therefore, as an industry, investing heavily in tools and methods to uncover all types of fraud to ensure we protect the vast majority of honest policyholders who become the innocent victims of such crimes."

The two other members of the gang are due to be sentenced on 11 September.

Notable cases:

R v B (2017 & 2018)

Operation Forego (2012)
Money Laundering prosecution

R v Uzoma-Ubani & Others (2012)
Successful prosecution of a multi-million pound fraud

Mabey & Johnson Ltd (2011)
Corporate sanctions busting

R v Meehan & others; R v Hening & others (2011)
Linked carousel fraud cases 2008 - 2011

R v David Mabey & Charles Forsyth (2011)
Successful  SFO prosecution of sanctions busting

Operation Tangelo (1 and 2) (2010)
Excise Fraud

Innospec Ltd (2010)
SFO plea agreement

Operation Bedel (R v H) (2009)
Excise Fraud

R v Hussain & others (2008)
Insurance fraud in motor trade

R v Oshodin & others (2007)
Multi-handed fraud on banks

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