A new police unit designed to catch motor insurance scammers has secured its first conviction. John Machin was caught after an embarrassing phone blunder.
The case was the first courtroom success of the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Departments. That's a special police unit that was set up in January and deals exclusively with insurance scammers. The unit is funded entirely by the insurance industry rather than the public purse. It has so far made 135 arrests, most of which had led to ongoing investigations and prosecutions.
While investigating cases and bringing them to court is normally a lengthy process, the Machin case didn't prove too taxing to be fair. He reported the claim to his insurer in a call that was recorded and has now been released to the media. Unfortunately for Machin he didn't put the phone down properly at the end of the call and was heard to tell a friend "I will make you a very very rich man" and then discussing making a similar fraudulent claim, this time saying two cars had been involved.
Machin was given a 12 month suspended sentence and a community service order. A police spokesman suggested he would likely have faced a longer sentence had the claim had proven successful and a payout made.