October 23, 2009

In previous editions of Bankstone News we may inadvertently have suggested that crash for cash fraudsters were subtly devious schemers with a sublime genius for artful deception – or something like that. Anyway – sorry – turns out they’re not.

Not, at least if the latest high-profile perpetrator nabbed by the law is anything to go by. So subtle was fraudster Mohammed Patel that he staged the exact same accident (braking suddenly to provoke rear-end shunt) over and over again on the exact same roundabout (Stockport’s Eden Point on the A34) until workers in the office over the road grew suspicious and photographed Patel on the day he crashed twice inside an hour.

In 93 known incidents Patel conned £1.6m out of insurers – spending it on expensive cars and girlfriend – charging £500 a time to crash other people’s cars enabling them to claim for whiplash and other fictitious injuries. For every monkey Patel netted, insurers paid out an average £17,000 without apparently spotting Eden Point as a bit of a black spot.

Patel was handed a four and a half year sentence in a Manchester court this week and banned from driving for three and a half years. So no practicing your handbrake turns in the exercise for you, Mr Patel.

The Guardian reported one of his victims’ suspicions were aroused when he asked Mr Patel why he stopped so suddenly. Patel, clutching a piece of paper on which the “driver’s” details were neatly copied down, responded: “Didn’t you see the motorbike?”

“It was a bit comical,” his co-collisionist noted, “because the passenger and driver both got out of the car holding their necks and saying they were in pain. Most people know whiplash is not instantaneous.”



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