Ghost Broker Scammed 50K From Fake Insurance Policies

A man from London has been sentenced for setting up hundreds of fraudulent insurance policies on behalf of other people by using false details and compromised bank accounts, reports the IFB, part of the City of London Police.

Rodney Bruce Van der Puye, 34, of Cator Street, Southwark, pocketed around £50,000 in just over 15 months by acting as an illegal intermediary, also known as a ‘ghost broker’. Van der Puye targeted some of the UK’s biggest insurance companies, using his, his mother’s and unknowing members of the public’s identities to take out cheaper motor insurance policies for his ‘customers’.

The ‘ghost broker’s’ illicit business was soon spotted by the Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB), who linked 28 suspicious policies to one individual. The case was then referred to the City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED) for further investigation, uncovering yet more policies that were connected to Van der Puye.

Van der Puye was sentenced to 21 months imprisonment suspended for two years and ordered to complete 180 hours of unpaid work on Thursday 6 July 2022 at Inner London Crown Court. He previously changed his pleas from not guilty to guilty for fraud by false representation, money laundering and providing a regulated claims management service whilst unauthorised.

EARLY CANCELLATION PATTERN

IFED’s initial investigation looked into the policies detected by the IFB, which were set up between 2016 and 2017. These policies were taken out in either Van der Puye’s name or that of his mother, but many used addresses, email addresses and bank accounts linked to other people.

26 of these policies were taken out to insure just four vehicles over two years. The policies were persistently cancelled by the insurers after the payments were declined due to the bank account holders’ details not matching the policyholders.

IFED officers executed a search warrant at the home of Van der Puye’s mother, where he was living at the time. Van der Puye arrived at the property in a black BMW, which was one of the vehicles he had insured through a fraudulent policy.

Three phones were seized by officers from the property and the vehicle, with Van der Puye claiming that just one belonged to him. Forensic investigators gained access to one of the phones after Van der Puye refused to hand over its PIN details. More than 50 WhatsApp conversations and text messages related to further fraudulent policies were discovered on one phone. This evidence also identified 113 bogus policies set up by Van der Puye between May and July 2018 alone.

THIS TIME NEXT YEAR RODNEY, THIS TIME NEXT YEAR..

The evidence from this device indicated that Van der Puye’s ‘customers’ were aware of the policies being fraudulent. Van der Puye was also addressed by name in these conversations, with messages including “Hi Rodney, I need you to do me some insurance” and “Hi Rodney I need insurance today”.

Van der Puye’s responses showed that he charged around £80 to £150 for his services. The details of two bank accounts were provided by Van der Puye for these payments, including one in the name of his former partner.

Analysis of this bank account revealed that £50,000 worth of transactions were made between May 2017 and August 2018, all of which related to insurance policies. From this total sum, £27,000 was transferred to an account in Van der Puye’s name, over £6,500 to his mother’s account and another £3,800 made in rent payments.

During an interview with IFED officers, the holder of this account alleged that she was not aware of the deposits as this was not her main bank account.

The company which handled Van der Puye’s rent payments stated that these were often made from various bank accounts and cards, and were subject to ‘chargebacks’ due to the transactions being suspected as fraudulent.

Van der Puye was interviewed by IFED, during which he provided a prepared statement denying the fraud. He claimed that the policies were taken out by a broker he had found on Instagram, but would not provide any more information on this individual when asked.

 

About alastair walker 9348 Articles
20 years experience as a journalist and magazine editor. I'm your contact for press releases, events, news and commercial opportunities at Insurance-Edge.Net

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