British man jailed for staging car crashes for money

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    A British man who staged car crashes for money, helping fraudsters claim 1.6 million pounds (2.7 million dollars, 1.8 million euros) from insurance firms, was jailed Wednesday for four and a half years.

    Mohammed Patel, 24, charged people 500 pounds a time to set up crashes enabling them to claim an average of 17,000 pounds each, a court heard.

    He staged at least 93 accidents with clients’ cars by slamming on his brakes so drivers behind him would plough into his vehicle, the court heard.

    He would then take details enabling his clients to claim on their insurance.

    “The wickedness of these staged accidents is that you gave no thought to the victim,” judge Bernard Lever told the court in Manchester, northwest England.

    “The victim may have been an elderly person, a person with a heart condition, a person of a nervous disposition.”

    Patel, who earned 46,000 pounds from the scam between May 2005 and August 2008, was also banned from driving for three and a half years.

    He was caught after workers saw him stage two crashes on the roundabout outside their office.

    Richard Davies, deputy chairman of the Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB), welcomed the sentence as a deterrent, saying his office was investigating 28 similar suspected operations around Britain.