The current economic climate in the United Kingdom means that a lot of people would do things for money that they wouldn’t normally do. There are some people who find that their financial status is so depressing that they need to break the law in order to obtain cash. There are some people who enjoy breaking the law for financial gain or who are looking to bring in money wherever they can but given the poverty that many people face, you can see why a lot of normally good people make bad decisions when it comes to finances.
This means that if an opportunity to make money arises, it can be too tempting for people to overlook or ignore. This may have been part of the thinking for many people behind one of the largest insurance scams in the United Kingdom in recent years. A court in Wales has sentenced over 80 motorists to prison in a “cash for cash” scam. The scam was focused on a garage close to Blackwood, which is located in the South Wales Valleys. In total, compensation claims of around three quarters of a million pounds were made, making this a hugely significant bogus insurance case.
Over 80 people were involved with the case
81 people in total have received custodial sentences, which tally up to over 60 years. The ages of people involved range between 23 and 73 and the scheme has been recognised as one of the most extensive insurance style frauds in the history of British law. The police first took interest in the goings on at the St David’s Garage, also known as the Easifix Garage, in Pengam back in 2011. This was relating to a number of vehicle thefts but upon inspecting CCTV footage, the police witnessed a Land Rover vehicle being smashed into by a forklift truck. This crash appeared to be deliberate and shortly after, police officers in Gwent launched an investigation. The investigation was labelled Operation Dino and very quickly, the police were shocked to learn just how many people were involved with the insurance crime. A lot of people in the local area were implicated but there were also numerous people from further afield implicated in this insurance scam.
One Court was practically shut down due to the Workload
The extent of the crime was so severe that in October 2013, the Magistrates Court in Cwmbran had to close down to all other business apart from processing the 80+ people accused of being involved in the scam. The case has continued with people being brought forward in groups.
The garage was run by the Yandell family and three members of the family, Byron Yandell, Byron’s father Peter Yandell and Byron’s wife Rachel Yandell have all been sent to prison. In January 2015, the final five people involved with the crime were sentenced by the Crown Court in Newport.
In total, 57 vehicles were involved with this fraud and in court, the Judge was quick to point out that this style of crime had a big impact on everyone, not just the insurance company. Due to the size and scale of the insurance fraud, it is very likely that many people have experienced a rise in premiums with insurance companies looking to minimise the impact of the number of fraudulent claims. A lot f people think that insurance claims and insurance fraud are a victimless crime but you can rest assured that major firms will always find a way of passing their costs on to other people. This means that there will be plenty of victims of this style of fraud.
There is a need for a message to be sent out that this style of crime cannot be allowed to happen. If a minimal sentence was passed, other people may believe that it was worth the risk to carry out this sort of crime. The number of custodial sentences passed out at court in these cases will hopefully make many people realise that this sort of crime is unacceptable.
The volume of people involved with these cases and the amount of overlap would have made this an extremely difficult case to remain on top of. This is why defence solicitors need to be focused and it is often best to work with a defence solicitor from a good firm or team.
Andrew Reilly is a freelance writer with a focus on news stories and consumer interest articles. He has been writing professionally for 9 years but has been writing for as long as he can care to remember. When Andrew isn’t sat behind a laptop or researching a story, he will be found watching a gig or a game of football.