Mohammed Taj, who tried to make £100,000 in fraudulent insurance claims, has been jailed after he was caught exaggerating car crash injuries by turning up to a medical appointment in a wheelchair he didn’t need.
The 56-year-old from Alum Rock, was found guilty of fraud by false representation and conspiracy to commit fraud after falsely claiming he had been left permanently disabled in a bus crash in Pakistan.
Taj was jailed for three years at Birmingham Crown Court this week.
His wife Shanaz Zaman was handed a 12-month suspended sentence, along with a 20-hour rehabilitation order, for conspiracy to commit fraud.
Detectives from the City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED) discovered that in a bid to claim an £80,000 payout for injuries he suffered in the crash in 2011, Taj had grossly exaggerated an injury claim.
He had been on a bus that was involved in a serious crash in Pakistan in October 2011.
The crash, with a lorry, killed several people and caused Taj a number of injuries that required hospital treatment in Pakistan and back in the UK.
He took out a Disabling Injuries Protection Plan in September 1998 with the American Insurance Group (AIG), making a claim against the plan in February 2012.
He had previously submitted several accident claims and AIG launched an investigation.
AIG arranged for Taj to attend an independent medical examination in February 2013 as part of the investigation and hired a private investigation company to carry out surveillance on Taj when he attended this appointment.
The case was referred to IFED in March 2014 and during a search of his home police discovered documents that showed Taj had made a further insurance claim for permanent total disability with a second insurance company totalling £22,500.
The second company was supplied with a copy of the surveillance following Taj’s arrest and confirmed that, had it been made aware of the footage prior to settling Taj’s claim, it would have rejected it.
In December 2014, Taj answered bail and was interviewed for a second time. It was during this interview that Taj was arrested for a second offence of fraud by false representation regarding his second insurance claim.
City of London Police Detective Sergeant Mohammed Darr, who led the investigation for IFED, said, “Taj was determined to take advantage of the insurance industry by making two false claims.
“However, due to the hard work of our officers and the co-operation of the insurance companies, his cunning attempts to deceive medical professionals were ultimately unsuccessful. His actions have resulted in his conviction and sentencing here today which sends out a clear message that insurance fraud will not be tolerated.”
David Halstead, Fraud Manager at AIG added, “Whilst we are pleased to have prevented Taj from defrauding AIG, this is another sad example of someone’s greed getting the better of them. Had Taj been honest and truthful, it’s likely he would have received some compensation.
“Instead, he chose to lie to us and the medical experts who were trying to help him. As a result, he has ended up with no money and a criminal record. This should serve as a lesson to anyone tempted to commit this type of fraud in the future.”