Keighley News reports the two men, Israr Hussain and Shazad Shad, conned legal firms across the UK with fake road accident claims. As part of their scam they stole the identities of elderly people in care homes and used the BBC Children in Need appeal’s bank account details.
However, Judge Peter Benson was only able to impose an order of £1 for each of the men.
“I am satisfied that you have benefited from criminal conduct to the extent of £167,246,” he said. “The only reasonable asset in each of your cases is £1. I make a confiscation order in each case of £1. It has to be paid within 28 days.”
The ruling has been slammed by multiple politicians. Bradford West MP Naz Shah told the Keighley News that it was a mockery.
“If you look at car insurance in Bradford, it is because of people like this that we have car insurance so high,” she said. “And then to be asked to pay just £1 back each. The real cost and severity is to the average motorists in Bradford who have to pay an extra premium because of people like them. What they have done punishes every single motorist in Bradford, that is not fair, that is not justice.”
City of Bradford councillor David Ward told the publication that the insurance industry would have to pick up the tab and pass on the extra expense to innocent motorists.
“It is a joke,” he said. “It may be that they don’t have the money now, but it doesn’t mean it is something they should be able to avoid for the rest of their lives.”
The extent of the pair’s crimes was revealed during their sentencing hearing last August. They used false names, addresses and forged identity papers to obtain referral fees for car accidents that never took place and sent bogus personal injury claims to law firms. Some firms suffered losses of more than £20,000. At the time they were handed four-month jail terms suspended for two years.
The City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department, in partnership with West Yorkshire Police, uncovered the scam that took place between January 1, 2011 and February 28, 2014.