Four men who ran a scam in which customer data was stolen from Axa Insurance and then passed on to a claims management company have been spared jail, after being handed down suspended sentences.
Preston Combined Court Centre heard that between July 15 2015 and December 30 2015, Axa employee Shane Jerman stole data about customers who had been involved in car accidents and passed it onto former colleague Stuart McGill.
McGill then sold the information on to Jack Greenwood and Andrew Franks for their claims management company, Mid North West, so they could cold call the parties and offer to get them compensation.
Axa became suspicious that there was fraudulent activity and referred the matter to the City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED) for investigation.
IFED discovered that Jerman was taking photographs of customer data from his computer screen and sending it onto McGill via Whatsapp. When interviewed, McGill admitted that Jerman was sending roughly 100 lines of data to him each week.
Analysis of their bank accounts revealed that McGill was regularly sending between £250 and £650 to Jerman, with the description in the statements as “Shane Jerman Wolf of Manchester”. Further analysis into McGill’s bank account showed that he was regularly receiving thousands of pounds from Mid North West.
IFED made enquiries into Mid North West and identified Greenwood as a director and Franks as an employee. McGill also confirmed this in his interview and said he was receiving money from them in return for the data supplied by Jerman.
According to IFED, Jerman and McGill made approximately £18,250 between them.
Jerman was given nine months imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, 180 hours unpaid work and £450 court costs, for one count of bribery.
McGill also nine months imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, 180 hours unpaid work and £450 court costs, for two counts of ribery.
Greenwood received 14 months imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, 180 hours unpaid work, £750 court costs and £3,000 fine to be paid within three months, for one count of bribery.
And finally Franks got 17 months imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, 180 hours unpaid work, £750 court costs and £3,000 fine to be paid within three months, for one count of bribery.
Detective Constable Louise Wager, who the led the investigation for IFED, said: “These four men thought they could make easy money by selling on customer data, but instead they have been sentenced for their involvement, and will now be unable to work in a range of industries due to their criminal records.
“The Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department takes this type of fraud very seriously. As shown in this case with Axa Insurance, we continue to work effectively with insurers to try and eradicate fraudulent activity within the industry and deter anyone who is thinking of getting involved.”
Axa UK head of investigations and fraud control Mike Bennett said: “We take information security and fraud extremely seriously here at Axa, and will investigate all cases then seek to prosecute for this type of activity.
“We would like to thank our internal teams who compiled the evidence as well as IFED who investigated the case. We hope this acts as a reminder that when it comes to fraud, the consequences are not worth the risk.”
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