October 23, 2013

As if real ghost brokers weren’t bad enough, Bankstone News received reports this week of people pretending to be ghost brokers.

How lazy is that? Can’t be bothered to go through the countless hours of rigorous professional training that is de rigeur for UK brokers today? Can’t even be bothered to pretend to be a broker (the practice known as ‘ghost broking’)?

Well, then, you might just have to do what West Yorkshireman Michael Standing was reported to have done this week in the pages of leading monthly trade journal Insurance Age, to whit: “posing as a ‘ghost broker’”.

As regular readers of Bankstone News will be aware, some ghost brokers are surprisingly well organised for non-corporeal spirit beings; but pretend ghost brokers appear to be cut from a rather different cloth.

Mr Standing’s squalid spree as a bogus ghost broker involved conning more than 50 ‘criminals and disqualified drivers’ out of their hard-earned cash in return for policies kindly provided by RSA on the basis of wholly spurious personal details.

Bankstone News cannot help suspecting that his somewhat shady clientele had some suspicion that Standing was neither a real ghost broker nor even a real broker, but appear to have gone along with his outrageous pretence rather than risk a 50p fine, or whatever it is you get now for driving without insurance.

Where real ghost brokers can expect to reel in six or seven figure sums for a few months’ assiduous swindling, faux ghost brokers like Standing deal in paltrier sums. The measly “more than £4,000” which crack fraud busters the FEDs reckon he reaped from the practice would quickly have gone on the “drink and drugs” on which it is thought to have been spent.

After missing an earlier hearing due to one or other, more than one, or all of: missing the bus, a panic attack, a child’s birthday party, Standing was ultimately given a £250 fine for possession of Class B controlled substances and a 15-month suspended sentence.

PC Danny Dankoff (yes, that really is his name), who led the FEDs’ investigation, said: “Standing’s conviction demonstrates that [the FEDs] is dedicated to bringing ghost brokers to justice.” Them and them who pose as them, presumably.

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