Two men who worked for a health insurer have been sentenced and fined for bribery and data protection offences.
On 20 February 2016, Aden Embling, while in the employment of health insurer Health-on-Line, accessed 47 private medical policies and took photos of 32 of them.
Embling then sent the data to Daniel Storr, who had worked at Health-on-Line until May 2015, the court heard.
The agreement between the two fraudsters was that Embling would make 10 per cent of the revenue from any policies that Storr sold. Storr attempted to sell the stolen data on to his company director at the time. The director refused to use it and Storr was sacked.
Storr then set himself up as an independent insurance sales consultant under the registered company name of Protected Health and Life Ltd.
Using this name, he contacted the customers listed on the stolen data and attempted to sell them insurance. He was unsuccessful and neither of the men made any money.
Health-on-Line became suspicious due to the high number of records that were accessed by Embling during a comparatively short period of time - just an hour-and-a-half.
The company determined that it was not feasible for Embling to have made any legitimate changes to these records during this short time period.
On 19 April 2016, a HR meeting was called with Embling at which he admitted to stealing the data and passing it to Storr.
Embling had also previously admitted to stealing the data in a conversation in April 2016 with a colleague who then informed the company managers.
After this meeting, Embling took the laptop from Storr, which still contained the stolen confidential client data, and passed it to Health-on-Line. Embling was then sacked.
On 31 May 2016, the City of London Police's Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department was contacted by Health-on-Line.
An investigation by officers found that the laptop contained data from 32 private medical policies, which matched those accessed by Embling on 20 February 2016.
Embling and Storr were both arrested on 18 January 2017. Their homes were searched and phones, laptops and documents were seized.
On sentencing, the judge ordered the laptop used in the offences to be destroyed.
Detective Constable Daryl Fryatt of the City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department said: "Even though Storr was ultimately unsuccessful in selling the policies, his and Embling's crimes are not victimless.
"When people commit insurance fraud, it drives up insurance premiums for all consumers as fraud costs the insurance industry money."
A Health-on-Line spokesperson said: "We are pleased that the court has recognised the seriousness of these individuals' actions.
"We take seriously any behaviour that puts into question the integrity of our staff, which is vital to the confidence our customers and colleagues place in our industry and in our business.
"Today's outcome confirms our commitment to ensuring that any breach of confidentiality will not be tolerated."
Embling received a suspended sentence of five months' imprisonment, 200 hours community service, and £1,200 fine for bribery after having pleaded guilty at Bournemouth Crown Court.