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DCL and DWF secure private prosecution for fraudulent misrepresentation

17 October 2023

Direct Commercial Ltd (DCL), an award winning insurer of commercial motor vehicles, working alongside DWF, the global provider of integrated legal and business services, has successfully prosecuted a car owner who made and later abandoned a fabricated insurance claim for a car accident.

Naeem Ahmed Butt from London was found guilty of two of three counts after a jury trial at Basildon Crown Court. He was found guilty of fraudulent misrepresentation and received a 14-month sentence, suspended for 18 months as well as 150 hours of unpaid work and a two month electronically tagged curfew. He is now at risk of losing his TFL licence. 

The private prosecution case was brought by DCL and DWF after Mr Butt's initial civil claim for personal injury, vehicle damage and substantial car hire costs was abandoned once irrefutable evidence of his fraud was disclosed to him. If his claim had been successful it would have been valued in excess of £65,000 including legal costs.
The initial claim centred on an alleged collision between Mr Butt's vehicle and a fleet van from a dairy business insured with DCL. Mr Butt alleged that while driving his vehicle occupied by three other passengers, his vehicle was hit from behind by the fleet van leading to personal injuries and car damage.

However, the fleet van was fitted with a forward facing camera and telematics device which streams data and video to a server while the ignition is switched on. Footage from the fleet van showed it appearing to deliberately swerve into a collision with Mr Butt's parked car, then reversing before again colliding with the rear of the car causing further damage.  There was no driver or passengers in Mr Butt's vehicle and it was stationary when hit, showing that the claim was fabricated. When presented with the compelling evidence the claim was abandoned, after which DWF began a private prosecution of Mr Butt on behalf of Direct Commercial Ltd.

Commenting on the case, Lorraine Carolan, Global Head of Fraud and Credit Hire, said: "This is an important case which shows insurers like DCL will not simply conclude their investigations with the abandonment of a fraudulent claim.

"DWF is at the very forefront of challenging claims involving telematics evidence and technological advancements in this area have made it easier to hold those who try to claim for fabricated accidents accountable. Fraudulent claims are not without consequence and this verdict should serve as a warning to those who believe it is a victimless crime."

Carl Cripps, Claims Director at DCL said: "Thanks to the hard work of our CVU fraud team and legal partner, DWF, we are pleased with the verdict reached by the jury in this case. In this particular case, DCL's Camatics product has once again proven invaluable in determining the outcome of this fraud and protecting our policyholders is at the centre to our ethos, even if that means pushing boundaries with the likes of this private prosecution. Preventing fraudulent claims creates a better, more affordable insurance market and we will continue to investigate dubious claims, so that we may provide our customers with a market-leading service."

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