An insurance agent who sold fictitious life and critical illness (CI) cover policies in order to pocket thousands in commission fees has been handed a nine-month suspended sentence.
The fraud was uncovered by the insurance broking company he was working for, and details were passed to officers in the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED), part of the City of London Police, where detectives carried out a criminal investigation.
Ahmad Sherazi, 38, from Waltham Abbey, Essex, pleaded guilty to fraud by false representation, and was sentenced on 3 September at the Old Bailey to nine months’ imprisonment suspended for two years and was also ordered to carry out 90 hours of unpaid work.
Sherazi committed the fraud when he was working for Eunisure as a self-employed agent, submitting 32 fraudulent applications for life and CI insurance policies using false names, addresses and bank account details.
For each policy incepted, he would receive a commission payment and he pocketed £8,000 from the con.
The fraud was uncovered when the direct debit payments on the policies Sherazi set up were refused and the policies cancelled.
When the applications were scrutinised by Eunisure, managers found that fraudulent details had been entered, with Sherazi using his current address as well as former addresses in south and east London on many of the fake policies.
Of the 36 policies that Sherazi had arranged while working for Eunisure, only four turned out to be genuine, with the others all made up.
On 1 July 2015, he was confronted by managers at Eunisure and admitted to them he had made the policies up in order to get the commission payments. He said he would pay the money back.
However, none of the money was returned and the case was referred to IFED for criminal investigation.
Sergeant Steven Holland, from the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department, said: “Sherazi exploited his knowledge of the company’s systems so that the policies he was submitting got through the initial application checks and he got paid the commission fees.
“The fraud was picked up quickly and investigated efficiently and thoroughly by our investigator Tony Freeman, resulting in this successful prosecution.”
Ralph Mortlock, managing director at Eunisure said: “I must thank IFED for taking on the small number of individuals in the industry who have for too long escaped criminal prosecution.
“I hope this case will stand as an example to others who may be tempted, [showing] they will be uncovered and prosecuted.”