TWO men who ran a “carefully organised” scam to falsely claim thousands of pounds in compensation for train delays between Leeds and London have received hefty fines.
Stephen Hudson, 40 and Andrew Michael Craig, 36, both of Park Lane, Shipley, regularly travelled from Yorkshire to the capital over a two-year period, and submitted 23 fraudulent claims for delays - despite never travelling on the affected services.
The pair, who admitted fraud by false representation at Bradford Magistrates' Court on Tuesday, researched delayed trains online then submitted claims for compensation totalling £2,500.
An investigation by British Transport Police uncovered the scam after suspicions arose due to the unusually large number of claims.
Hudson was fined £1,150 and ordered to pay £300 compensation, a £115 victim surcharge and £85 costs.
Craig was fined £1000 and told to pay £200 compensation, £100 victim surcharge, and £85 costs. Speaking after the sentencing, PC Andy Jones said: “This was a carefully-organised and deliberate scam. Hudson and Craig researched services that qualified for delay compensation on the internet.
“Both men regularly travelled between Leeds and London. They managed to arouse suspicion after submitting an unusually large number of claims.
“This was an operation designed to defraud the railway of thousands of pounds set aside for passengers who have been genuinely inconvenienced by delays and disruption. Ultimately it is the travelling public who lose out through increases in fares to cover the cost of bogus claims like these.
“We hope this sends a clear message to anyone thinking of abusing the claims system in future.”
Virgin Trains, which operates the Leeds to London train service, offers compensation for passengers delayed by 30 minutes or more.