A family-run garage has been found to have been at the centre of a Britain’s biggest ever “crash for cash” scam in which 150 fraudsters conned the insurance industry out of two million pounds.
The family members from St David’s Crash Repair and Easifix garage business in Newport, South Wales helped stage fake car crashes for themselves and for others in order to make bogus compensation claims.
The final three fraudsters have now been sentenced for their part in the scam – making the total number people prosecuted 158.
Many of the scammers went to the same doctor, Julian Sweetman, who diagnosed them with whiplash, situational anxiety and other crash-related injuries.
However, Dr Sweetman was not accused of wrongdoing and is still registered by the General Medical Council.
The Yandells’ fraud ring was finally exposed by their own CCTV, which showed them driving a Land Rover into the back of a forklift truck to make it look like the car had been involved in an accident.
Byron Yandell, 32, his father Peter Yandell, 53 and wife Rachel Yandell, 31, along with Gavin Yandell, 31, and Michelle Yandell, 52, were all jailed for between six and two years for the racket back in 2015.
The final three scammers to be dealt with – Wilkins, Bowditch, and Roberts – had all admitted conspiracy to defraud at Newport Crown Court.
Wilkins was jailed for 26 weeks, suspended for 12 months, and £1,850 compensation.
Bowditch, was sent to prison for 26 weeks, suspended for 12 months, ordered to carry out 100 hours unpaid work and pay £1,820 in compensation.
Roberts was jailed for 12 months, suspended for 18 months, and ordered to pay £3,670 in compensation.
Gwent Police and the Insurance Fraud Bureau partnered to launch Operation Dino which brought the scammers to justice.
Ben Fletcher, director of the Insurance Fraud Bureau, said: “The outcome of this case goes to show that if you commit insurance fraud you will pay the price.
“While we were pleased with the outcome of phase one of this investigation, which resulted in a total of 601 months’ jail time for the 81 fraudsters, we saw an opportunity to continue the fight and ensure that everyone involved was brought to justice.
“Through the hard work and the determination of the industry as a whole, we are proving that insurance fraud is top of our agenda and will not go unpunished.”