A BURNLEY man has admitted being part of a £100,000 “crash for cash” gang.
Stephen Eatherall (30), of Brunswick Street, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud at Manchester Crown Court after being involved in a bogus insurance claim.
On July 21st 2007, Eatherall told his insurer his Range Rover had been involved in a collision with an Audi.
A civil judge dismissed the subsequent insurance claim on the grounds there was evidence the Range Rover could not be driven on the date it was claimed the accident took place.
He suspected a conspiracy to defraud the insurance company and referred the matter to Greater Manchester Police.
The Range Rover had in fact broken down three days earlier when its gearbox failed.
When Eatherall was arrested and interviewed he accepted he had made a fraudulent claim.
He was struggling to pay the finance on the car, and he could not afford to repair the damaged gear box.
Three other men have been jailed for their roles in the scam, which saw the gang lodge claims for injuries and repairs totalling £100,000. One of the men even received £30,000 from an insurance company.
Eatherall will be sentenced later.
PC Vaughan Sherrah-Davies said: “Eatherall wanted rid of the car and its financial burden. He then took part in a scam which required the participation of a number of other people.
“For too long opportunists like the people who have been sentenced today have thought the insurance industry is an easy target for frauds such as this, but this case shows there is now a strong commitment among insurers and the civil and criminal justice systems, to stamp this trend out for good. I hope today’s sentence sends a message to anyone who is tempted by this type of criminality.”