A FRAUDSTER who stole prestige cars after making a string of bogus insurance claims against them has been jailed for two years.

Naveed Shah, 37, used stolen identities to carry out the theft of Audis, Mercedes and BMWs worth a total of £170,000, of which £73,000 has never been recovered.


Shah, of Blackburn Road, Great Harwood, used the registration details of vehicles which were for sale on traders’ forecourts across Lancashire and the UK, to set up bogus insurance policies using the false names of innocent motorists.

Preston Crown Court heard he then reported accidents in Exeter, Leicestershire and the Midlands before using the fake policies to take delivery of prestigious hire cars, which he then stole.

Jailing him, Recorder Simon Berkson, said: “Fraud on motor insurers is a prevalent crime in one form or another and has a wider impact on members of the public, who ultimately pick up the bill in increased motor insurance premiums.

“A number of insurance companies were duped into providing replacement cars to those involved in the conspiracy and innocent people were brought into the fraud to make it viable.

“You had a significant role, which involved receipt of the cars, and you had a connection to the false identification that was being used.”

Between January and May 2014, the court heard Shah took delivery of six vehicles, often changing the delivery details at the last minute to hospitals and surgeries across the North West, where he claimed to work.

The prosecution said on receipt of the vehicles he would quickly dispose of them before adopting a new identity and carrying out the same scam again.

Shah was arrested in April after a sting by police and APU Ltd, a motor fraud investigation unit which raised concerns when Shah made a claim against its client Accident Exchange.

But undeterred he went on to commit two further frauds after being released on bail.

Shah admitted conspiracy to commit fraud and conspiracy to steal.

Recorder Berkson said: “Your apparent motivation for this criminal conspiracy is that you borrowed a high value car yourself and used it to show off to other guests at a wedding.

“That car was written off and you owed a debt to the person you borrowed it from.

“Any funds you would have received from this criminal conspiracy as I understand would have gone directly to the person you owed money to.”

APU’s Head of Investigative Services, Neil Thomas, said: “Shah had obviously figured out what he thought was a fool-proof way to steal cars.

“He’d use a false identity and payment cards to take out motor insurance policies on cars he never owned, and then report fictitious crashes.

“This is different to other scams where fraudsters seek personal injury payments, instead Shah was intent on stealing the hire cars and has gone to great lengths to achieve this.

“In fact if it hadn’t been for way the various parties worked together with Lancashire police, I’m not sure his identity would ever have been uncovered.

“The fact that he has now pleaded guilty to conspiracy and other charges shows he is part of an organised team and not just a minor player who takes delivery of the cars.

“It was a cowardly and premeditated scam that affected the individuals whose identities he stole, as well as defrauding the claims companies of money, so I’m pleased that APU has played a key part in bringing him to justice.”