A MAN who pretended to slip on a wet bag in a Lidl store to get a compensation payout has been ordered to pay nearly £9,000 after being convicted of fraud.
Waheed Iqbal, 36, was also given a 10-month jail sentence suspended for two years for the £10,000 insurance fraud at the supermarket and another case at a gym.
Iqbal, from Bradford, tried to claim more than £3,000 after claiming he had been knocked out by buckles on a punch bag at a branch of the Nuffield Health Fitness and Wellbeing Centre.
He was sentenced at Bradford Crown Court yesterday.
A City of London Police spokeswoman said Iqbal told Lidl’s insurer, AIG, that he had banged his head and body on the floor of the aisle of their Bradford store in December 2012, hurting the left side of his back, leg and ankle.
But CCTV footage showed Iqbal placing his shopping trolley next to a bakery bag and then gradually easing himself to the floor before flagging down another shopper.
Iqbal was taken to hospital by ambulance but asked paramedics to stop during the journey. He got out of the ambulance unaided and went straight back to the store to speak to the manager about recording the incident.
He went to hospital the next day, complaining of pain and vomiting from where he had reportedly hit his head and made a £10,000 insurance claim.
In May 2012, he made a claim worth £3,800 to Royal Sun Alliance (RSA), after claiming the incident at the Nuffield gym in Shipley, had left him with a permanent scar on his nose and flashbacks leaving him unable to go to a gym.
Investigations discovered that Iqbal had attended another gym, using a different date of birth and address, on three occasions since the alleged incident in Shipley.
He was found guilty of two counts of fraud by false representation at Bradford and Keighley Magistrates’ Court earlier this year.
He was ordered to pay £7,000 to RSA, £1,000 to AIG, £200 to the NHS and £620 costs.
Detective Chief Inspector Dave Wood, head of the insurance fraud enforcement department (IFED) at City of London Police, said: “Iqbal targeted this supermarket and gym knowing they would be fully insured and therefore the perfect victim for his staged accidents and fictitious personal injury claims.
“To add insult to his bogus injury claims Iqbal also thought nothing of wasting the emergency and health services’ time in a bid to get medical records to bolster his claims.”
David Halstead, fraud manager at AIG, said: “This is an extremely pleasing result for both AIG and our insured, and is the result of working closely with the IFED team. AIG takes a tough stance on tackling insurance fraud, which ensures that customers should not have to pay the price for fraudsters through higher premiums.”
John Beadle, head of counter fraud and financial crime at RSA, said: “I do not know when people are going to realise that insurers are alert to this type of fraud, they will be caught and suffer the consequences.
“We fully support IFED and work closely with them and Iqbal’s sentence will be compounded by him being placed on the Insurance Fraud Register. This should serve as a lesson to anyone tempted to commit this type of fraud in the future.”