Fraudster, 56, who tried to claim £100,000 in compensation after pretending he was injured in a bus crash is caught on camera using a wheelchair he doesn’t need. As part of the investigation AIG arranged for Taj to attend an independent medical examination in February 2013 and hired a private investigation company to carry out surveillance on Taj when he attended this appointment.
By Lara Keay For Mailonline – Published: 7 October 2017
A fraudster who pretended a bus crash left him disabled in a bid to get £100,000 compensation was jailed after being caught using a wheelchair he didn’t need.
Mohammed Taj, 56, was handed three years in prison after being convicted of fraud by false representation and conspiracy to commit fraud.
He ‘grossly exaggerated’ the injuries he suffered when the bus he was in crashed in Pakistan in October 2011.
The smash with a lorry did kill several people and left Taj, of Alum Rock, Birmingham, injured, but did not cause him to be permanently disabled – as he claimed.
But he was caught out when CCTV footage captured him driving to a medical appointment, getting out of the car, and swapping with his wife just a few feet around the coroner.
His wife, Shanaz Zaman, 46, was then seen pushing him into the building in a wheelchair he clearly did not need.
She was handed a 12-month suspended sentence and a 20-hour rehabilitation order for conspiracy to commit fraud alongside her husband at Birmingham Crown Court this week.
The appointment they were driving to was part of his bid to falsely claim an £80,000 payout for his bus crash injuries.
When detectives from the City of London’s Police Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IEFD) realised he was faking his disability, they raided the couple’s home.
During the search, officers discovered a second claim for permanent disability, which related to the same crash and had paid out more than £20,000.
Taj (pictured), of Alum Rock, Birmingham, was caught red-handed when he was put under surveillance and captured on CCTV driving to a medical appointment in February 2013
Having taken out a Disabling Injuries Protection Plan in September 1998, with the American Insurance Group (AIG), Taj made a claim against this plan in February 2012.
He had previously submitted several accident claims and AIG launched an investigation.
As part of the investigation AIG arranged for Taj to attend an independent medical examination in February 2013 and hired a private investigation company to carry out surveillance on Taj when he attended this appointment.
The medical examiner compiled a report detailing numerous injuries including dislocations, fractures and facial injuries and Taj claimed he needed a wheelchair and two crutches to remain mobile.
But CCTV footage obtained from surveillance, uncovered the couple’s scheming.
After the appointment, Taj was pushed back to the car in a wheelchair where he got up with the use of crutches, got into the driver’s side of the car and drove away.
He later claimed he attended the appointment in a wheelchair and, was helped into a specialist taxi for the disabled, and also that he had been unable to drive since the collision in 2011.
AIG referred the case to IFED in March 2014 and during a search of his home police discovered documents that showed Taj had made a further insurance claim with a second insurance company totalling £22,500 for permanent total disability.
The second insurance company was supplied with a copy of the surveillance following Taj’s arrest and confirmed that, had it been made aware of the footage prior to settling Taj’s claim, it would have rejected it. Taj answered bail in December 2014 and was interviewed for a second time.
The 56-year-old was in a bus crash in Pakistan in October 2011 and did require treatment, but he was not left permanently disabled as he made out to his insurance company.
The CCTV footage shows him driving to an appointment, getting out and swapping with his wife, before she stops and wheels him inside in a wheelchair he doesn’t need
He was jailed for three years and his wife Shanaz Zaman, 46, was handed a year’s suspended sentence at Birmingham Crown Court this week
It was during this interview that he was arrested for a second offence of fraud by false representation over the second insurance claim.
City of London Police Detective Sergeant Mohammed Darr, who led the investigation for IFED, said: ‘Taj was determined to take advantage of the insurance industry by making two false claims.
‘However, due to the hard work of our officers and the co-operation of the insurance companies, his cunning attempts to deceive medical professionals were ultimately unsuccessful.
‘His actions have resulted in his conviction and sentencing here today which sends out a clear message that insurance fraud will not be tolerated.’
David Halstead, Fraud Manager at AIG added: ‘Whilst we are pleased to have prevented Taj from defrauding AIG, this is another sad example of someone’s greed getting the better of them.
‘Had Taj been honest and truthful, it’s likely he would have received some compensation.
‘Instead, he chose to lie to us and the medical experts who were trying to help him. As a result, he has ended up with no money and a criminal record.
This should serve as a lesson to anyone tempted to commit this type of fraud in the future.’