Peter Webb, age 56, from Ipswich, who ran a wedding chauffer business, purchased a Bentley Mark VI for £3,700 with a view to using it in the business. However, he actually insured the vehicle for £42,000 and then reported that it had been stolen a mere two months after that.
As this car was not in a good visual condition, he had taken a photograph of another car that he had taken out on a test drive. This was all part of the insurance scam.
The case came before Ipswich Crown Court who was informed that he had reported the Bentley that he had purchased as having been stolen from a garage that was situated quite close to his home having insured the car in February 2011.
He even put fake number plates on the Bentley taken out on a test drive to try to defraud the insurers. This classic car was a Bentley Mark VI dating back to the 1950s that had been completely restored and had been borrowed from P & A Wood who are dealers in heritage vehicles in Essex.
Apparently, he had informed the insurer of the car, Groupama Insurance, that he had spent cash of about £38,000 to restore the Bentley that he had paid only £3,700 for to back up his valuation of the vehicle. The car insurance company became concerned and suspicious about the situation. As a result, they asked Mr Webb to provide them with documents relating to the restoration work such as photos, any paper work and any invoices. His response was to claim that all the documents had been left in the boot of the stolen vehicle.
When he collected the beautifully restored car from P & A Wood he took it out into the countryside, removed the number plate and replaced it with the plate from the car that he had bought, photographed it and then swapped the plates back. The heritage motor dealer was completely unaware of what Mr Webb had done.
Not only that but he also took another photo of the inside of a Bentley that he had come across on the Internet.
The insurance scam came to light when investigators for the insurance company discovered that the car photos Mr Webb was using for his business were in fact those of the car he had borrowed from P & A Wood.
Mr Webb has admitted to submitting an insurance claim that was fraudulent with a view to obtaining £42,000. In this respect he was fined £10,000. In addition, he also had to pay a victim surcharge of £15, prosecution costs of £1,000 and reimburse the insurance company with £1,323 in respect of investigation costs.
Det Con Declan Malone, from the City of London Police who investigated the case stated: ‘Webb thought he had a clever plan to claim a substantial five figure sum from his insurer with his story that his restored Bentley had been stolen.
‘However, the insurers saw through his fraud and referred the case to us and we were quickly able to establish he had committed a crime. IFED will continue to bring insurance fraudsters to justice.’