Kidderminster Man Pays Back Thousands After False Insurance Claims
In the last few weeks, a Kidderminster man has paid thousands of pounds back to an insurance company, after being convicted of making two false claims.
Anthony Gauntlett (DOB 02/03/1972) of Wannerton Road in Blakedown admitted faking the claims, after reporting two burglaries at his home address in 2008 and 2010.
The 40-year-old appeared at Worcester Crown Court on 2 July charged with two counts of fraud and was ordered to pay back around £6,000 under a confiscation order.
Under the Proceeds of Crime Act, a confiscation order can be made against convicted criminals instructing them to pay back the amount they have gained from the crime they committed.
The amount Gauntlett was ordered to pay back to his insurer - Direct Line - related directly to a Bang and Olufsen television he claimed had been stolen in a burglary in August 2008.
The fraud came to light after Gauntlett reported another burglary in November 2010, in which he claimed around £17,000 of home entertainment equipment had been taken from his house.
Following an investigation carried out by West Mercia Police detectives and fraud investigators from Direct Line, it was found that this claim proved to be false as the items claimed for were later found inside his home, including the television he alleged was stolen in the 2008 burglary.
Detective Constable Lloyd Davies from Kidderminster CID said: "I can now confirm that Mr Gauntlett paid back the money he owed to Direct Line on 13 July.
"He was given an eight month suspended sentence and will have to carry out 150 hours in unpaid work for each offence, to run concurrently. He will also have to pay £1,400 in court costs.
"False insurance claims are not a victimless crime as they bump up premiums for law-abiding members of the public.
"Those responsible for committing these types of crimes will find it difficult to get insured in the future and, if the full amount of their fraud is not recovered under the Proceeds of Crime Act, the insurance company may seek to recover their costs by taking civil action.
"I hope this case sends a clear message to criminals who think they can get away with insurance fraud that where a false claim is suspected, we will work with insurance companies to carry out a full investigation and bring offenders to justice."