Dr Nicholas Bevan

Dr Nicholas Bevan

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Fraudster sentenced to prison for 15 months

R v McKenzie [2013] EWCA Crim 1544

McKenzie and two co-accused concocted a bogus insurance claim based on a fictitious road accident in which they claimed to have sustained whiplash injuries.  Their claims amounted to £33,000.  They were charged with and convicted of fraud.  The police investigations revealed that D was part of a ring of 70 people who perpetrated these scams and that he had committed 24 similar frauds.

McKenzie was sentenced to 15 months imprisonment and ordered to pay £3,242.00 towards the prosecution costs.  His appeal against sentence was dismissed but the costs contribution order was reduced to £1,500 to take into account his reduced financial circumstances.

This case demonstrates that the law is perfectly capable of protecting insurer’s interests where it is properly applied.  No doubt this prosecution was made possible due to improved intra-insurer co-operation and the use of an anti-fraud database.  Further progress could be made if insurers co-operated with the legal profession in tackling fraud.  Insurers need to be more proactive bringing private prosecutions where the Police don’t.  The insurance industry’s current policy of disparaging genuine whiplash injury victims and portraying minor whiplash injury claims as being synonymous with a fraudulent claim is as unfounded as it is disingenuous.

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