Shoaib Nawaz ran the accident claims company City Claims 4 U that the conspiracy was centred on
Fraudsters staged a spectacular stunt involving a bus and a car in a ‘cash for crash’ scam, a court heard.
They filled the single-decker with their own passengers and the driver deliberately crashed the bus at low speed into a Vauxhall Safira.
When police and ambulance staff arrived only one man appeared to be injured and the Vauxhall was nowhere to be seen.
However 26 fraudulent claims were made by fake passengers for whiplash injuries, Sheffield Crown Court was told, and bus company Sheffield Mainline had to set aside £250,000 to pay compensation.
Seven defendants deny conspiracy to defraud insurance companies.
The jury was told that bus driver Adam Herbert, 25, and the car driver have admitted the charge.
Katherine Robinson, prosecuting, said the fraud centred on an accident claims company called City Claims 4 U run by Mohammed Gulzar and Shoaib Nawaz in Pitsmoor Road, Sheffield.
‘It was a professional and organised conspiracy by deliberately making false claims over road traffic accidents which never occurred or were staged,’ she said.
The bus crash was allegedly staged in June 2011 in Pitsmoor, Sheffield, as City Claims 4 U were ‘becoming both confident and very, very greedy’.
Miss Robinson said: ‘This was an audacious plan to crash a bus being driven by Adam Herbert into a car driven by one of the defendants. The plan was to load the bus with as many dishonest passengers as possible then submit a raft of bogus claims for personal injury.’
She said passengers described a ‘very minor bump’ at low speed or a ‘gentle collision’ with some of the passengers losing their footing. False details of the car driver were given to the police.
One passenger later told police the whole accident was staged and that she
A member of staff at City Claims 4 U was also on board and submitted a claim.
‘A total of 26 people made very similar claims for whiplash-type injuries arising out of this collision and the bus company put aside £250,000 for the cost of litigation,’ said Miss Robinson.
However the bus company made inquiries and found that the collision was staged.
The court heard the fraudsters staged several crashes in Halifax, Sheffield and Rotherham between October 2010 and July 2011.
Sheffield Crown Court heard that bus company Sheffield Mainline had to set aside £250,000 to pay compensation
False claims were boosted by hiring out replacement vehicles from Rent a Car 4 U which was linked to the other company.
Miss Robinson said Gulzar was the principal organiser of the scam and Nawaz was a central figure.
Gulzar, 30, Nawaz, 25, and Nisar Hussain, 28, all from Sheffield; Liam Howden, 25, of Rotherham, Javed Khan, 46, of Birmingham, Sami Selam, 37, of Flint, North Wales and Kiran Shaheen, 21, of Bradford all deny conspiracy to defraud.
Eight other defendants have admitted the same charge and will be sentenced later. The trial continues.
Motorists are falling foul of a new insurance scam dubbed ‘flash for crash’.
Fraudsters in cars watch for vehicles exiting from shops, car parks or fuel stations.
They flash their headlights, apparently offering a right of way to join the main road, but instead speed up to hit the victim’s car side-on.
This results in a ‘your word against mine’ situation when it comes to apportioning blame, and the criminal holds the victim at fault for turning across him.
The new tactic was spotted and named by automotive anti-fraud investigation specialist APU, which said it had emerged since the turn of the year.