Page last updated at 17:47 GMT, Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Crash-for-cash fraudster ordered to repay 1

Mohammed Patel
Patel staged at least 93 crashes

A man who cost the insurance industry £1.6m in a "crash-for-cash" fraud has been ordered to pay back just £1.

Mohammed Patel, of Bolton, deliberately caused at least 93 car crashes across Greater Manchester which enabled car owners to make fraudulent claims.

Despite making £46,000 from the scam, Manchester's Minshull Street Crown Court was told he had no assets.

He was ordered to repay the nominal sum and his girlfriend, Ettorina Hay, was told to repay £12,953.

Patel, of Nottingham Drive, Bolton, admitted a number of charges at the court last year and is serving a four-and-a-half year sentence.

After his arrest, police searched the home he shared with Hay and found expensive goods such as a large plasma TV, leather sofas and designer clothes.

Luxury cars

Further inquiries showed that his earnings also paid for holidays and her general living costs.

The court hearing, held under the Proceeds of Crime Act last week, decided that Hay's benefits from the scam totalled £35,000, but she had £12,953 in assets.

Luxury cars owned by Ettorina Hay
Cars registered in Hay's name were auctioned by police

Greater Manchester Police sold two luxury cars registered in her name, a Lincoln Navigator and Mercedes C 180, for £11,416 and recovered £536 from her house on Kirkby Road, Bolton.

Hay was ordered to repay the remainder within three months.

She was given a 12-month suspended sentence in December after admitting converting and possessing criminal property.

Sgt Mark Beales, who led the investigation, said: "Hay had her suspicions over Patel always having large sums of cash at his disposal, yet she took it regardless.

"She turned a blind eye to where it came from.

"She no doubt benefited significantly from Patel's criminality and now the justice system is taking money back for victims of crime."

Patel forced a number of low speed crashes by braking suddenly, often at roundabouts, so the driver behind would crash into the back of him.

Claimants - who owned the cars Patel was driving - then demanded compensation for personal injury, courtesy cars and legal fees.

Print Sponsor

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