Detecting car insurance fraud can be difficult, with forensic accountants having to trawl through reams of paperwork to get to the bottom of an investigation. However, some evidence is more clear-cut than others. In one of the UK’s latest ‘cash for crash’ scam, for example, the fraudsters unwittingly recorded themselves driving a Land Rover Discovery into a forklift truck.
Although this footage contributed to the prosecution of five people, forensic accounting played a vital role later on in the investigation. Dubbed as the most extensive of its kind in Wales, over 80 people have so far been convicted in the long-running scam, which revolved around the deliberate damaging of vehicles.
Catrin Evans, Head of the Crown Prosecution Services Wales Complex Casework Unit, said the complicated case was the most extensive she had seen in Wales: “This case has been unprecedented for us in Wales, both in terms of its complexity and the number of defendants involved. Over a two-year period, the sheer volume of evidence relating to the charges created many challenges.”
With the ability to analyse the evidence prepared by the Crown Prosecution Service, forensic accountants played an important part in overcoming these challenges. In particular, they were able to estimate the damage to the car insurance industry – currently valued at £800,000 – by meticulously reviewing a wide range of information relating to the case.
At Frenkels Forensics we’ve seen firsthand the invaluable role played by forensic accounting in insurance investigations of all kinds – evidenced by our long list of case studies.
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By Vitek Frenkel – find me via Google+.