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Prolific crash for cash boss sent to prison

  • 03 May 2013
  • By Chris Tindall

A Durham recovery firm boss and lynch-pin of “one of the most prolific” crash for cash scams has been jailed for seven years.

According to Judge Roger Thorn, Paul Jonathan Wright, who ran PJ Autos out of an industrial estate in Craghead, “got too greedy” in his attempts to defraud insurers out of £3m over a two year period.

Newcastle Crown Court heard how Wright’s firm was used to recover and store vehicles targeted in staged collisions.

Some of the claims involved bogus crashes that had never happened as well as genuine collisions that included grossly exaggerated claims.

The scale of the fraud was so vast that it is thought to have added £100 per person to insurance premiums in the Derwentside area of County Durham.

Wright was described as the main organiser and the major beneficiary of the scam, which also led to the arrest of 70 other defendants for their involvement.

In sentencing Wright the Judge added: “You were essential both to its performance and almost success – save that I find that you simply got too greedy; careless of the risks of being found out.”

Ben Fletcher, director of the Insurance Fraud Bureau, (IFB) said: “Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident. The IFB is currently investigating 49 organised fraud rings across the UK, with the combined value of those scams totalling £66m.”

Hauliers were warned at the start of this year to watch out for fraudsters after data showed crash for cash is very much a growth industry.


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