Adam Reason, 40, was working three paid jobs despite claiming £50,000 worth of income protection
A man in Lancashire has been sentenced to eighteen months imprisonment - suspended for two years - as well as 150 hours unpaid work and a five-day rehabilitation activity requirement for scamming his insurance company, Aviva.
Found guilty of one count of fraud by false representation following an investigation by City of London Police, 40-year-old Adam Reason exaggerated an inability to work in order to claim £2,000 a month through an income protection policy.
Detective Constable James Rafiq, who led the investigation for the City of London Police's Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED), said: "Whilst Reason claims to have found himself in a difficult position in which he was no longer able to cope with the pressure of his job, he should still have pursued other forms of employment legitimately. Instead, Reason exaggerated his inability to work to fraudulently claim tens of thousands of pounds from his insurer whilst juggling three other forms of paid work. Unfortunately, it is fraudulent cases like this which undermine the serious nature of genuine health issues and subsequent protection policy claims.
The outcome of today’s sentencing clearly demonstrates that insurance fraud is a crime and if you commit insurance fraud, it is very likely you will be caught and prosecuted
"Reason has been rightfully punished for his crimes and we are now seeking to retrieve the funds he stole through the Proceeds of Crime Act so that we can reimburse his insurer."
Reason contacted Aviva in November 2016 claiming that he was unable to work as an estate agent due to his illness and not receiving any other form of income, so the insurer arranged for a medical assessment in which he explained he could not drive more than a short distance or perform simple tasks.
Between 2017 and 2019, while receiving the monthly pay-out, he was required to complete regular reviews for Aviva which confirmed he had not been working and had not received any other benefits, however background checks revealed he was in fact operating as many as three paid businesses in and around Lancashire.
It transpired that he had been travelling to work as a freelance photographer, providing services for commercial properties and weddings. Aviva established that Reason had travelled 275 miles in one day for a photography job.
It was also discovered that he was being paid for providing guitar lessons and for his involvement as a lead guitarist in a music group, which at £100 a gig may have earned him up to £4,000. Bank statements showed a total of almost £25,000 was gained during the claim period.
Aviva cancelled Reason's policy and referred to the case to IFED, who commenced investigations in May 2019.
A search of his home by the IFED established that Reason's mobile phone contained calendar entries for guitar lessons, photography work and gigs during this time.
Jacqueline Kerwood, claims governance manager for individual protection at Aviva, said: "We are satisfied with today's sentencing, which highlights the serious consequences of Mr Reason's deception, in attempting to falsely claim £50,000 through an income protection policy. It was shocking to discover that Mr Reason was continuing to work, and not just one paid employment, but three. Our investigation and referral to IFED brought an end to this scam.
"The outcome of today's sentencing clearly demonstrates that insurance fraud is a crime and if you commit insurance fraud, it is very likely you will be caught and prosecuted - as Mr Reason has learned the hard way.
"Aviva has a zero-tolerance approach to fraud and will investigate and bring to justice those who attempt to defraud Aviva and our customers. These bogus claims put pressure on premiums for honest customers who rely on the safety net that protection policies provide."