The former director of multiple claims management and hire companies has been jailed for contempt of court after he was found to have forged a claimant’s signature.
Haroon Karim, 33, was sentenced to six months imprisonment. He has been a director of ACA Claims, ACA Accident Claims Assistant, Medicals Elite, Easy Go Hire and Medical Healthcare Services, among others.
The proceedings arose from a previous case where the now-defunct law firm Asons, together with Mr Karim, were ordered to pay more than £40,000 in costs to insurer LV= over a bogus whiplash claim.
Judge Godsmark QC at Nottingham County Court ruled that, on the balance of probabilities, Mr Karim had forged the claimant’s signature on various documents, including the claim form used to start proceedings without the claimant’s knowledge.
Although Judge Godsmark found Asons had been deceived by Mr Karim, he described the former Bolton firm’s conduct as “improper, unreasonable and negligent” in taking on the £3,000 claim without verifying that the claimant was genuinely providing instructions.
In addition, the judge found evidence that Asons was responsible for “backdating correspondence to disguise non-compliance with court timetabling”.
Mr Karim was one of Asons’ larger sources of work, Horwich Farrelly reported.
According to Manchester firm Horwich Farrelly, which acted for LV=, they then pursued the contempt case. In his judgment, HHJ Godsmark said Mr Karim made “fanciful and speculative assertions” and “he ran a CMC with substantial rewards”.
He told Mr Karim that “forging court documents in line with your business must meet with a custodial sentence.”
Ronan McCann, managing partner at Horwich Farrelly, said: “This case sends a clear message to professional enablers that insurers will not stop in their efforts to stamp out fraudulent claims, and ensure that honest customers do not suffer from the dishonest actions of others.”
Clare Lunn, LV= General Insurance fraud director, added: “This is a fantastic outcome and will hopefully serve as a stark reminder that those in positions of trust should uphold the professional standards that are expected of them…
“We’re glad to see that Mr Karim will now be serving time behind bars, as well as paying back every penny we accrued in costs.”