A Bradford man landed himself before the courts after police discovered he had used images from YouTube as part of an exaggerated injury claim.
Nasar Ali claimed that he cut his thumb on a steak knife while staying at a hotel in Bradford on February 12, 2015.
The 38-year-old said he had lost £10,960 as he had not been able to work as a result of the injury.
He submitted photographs of towels covered in blood and his 'injury' as part of his claim - but the hotel night manager did not find any blood or other evidence.
And City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED) was drafted in when it was discovered that images sent to insurer Allianz had been lifted from a YouTube video.
Ali, of Grandage Terrace, was sentenced at Bradford Crown Court yesterday after pleading guilty to fraud by false representation earlier this year.
He was handed a sentence of eight months in prison, suspended for two years, and must complete 200 hours of unpaid work.
The court also ordered that he pay a fine of £1,420 and made him subject to a restraining order which prevents him from returning to any premises insured by Allianz for the next five years.
What did Ali claim happened after he was injured by the steak knife?
Ali claimed that, having ordered room service, it was delivered to him by a night porter who had wrapped the steak knife inside a napkin.
He claimed to have called the hotel reception and informed the night manager that he had cut his thumb on the steak knife. The night manager said he offered to go to Ali’s room and
provide first aid but that this was refused. Ali denied that first aid was offered.
When the porter returned to Ali’s room, Ali had a makeshift bandage wrapped around his hand which appeared to have blood on it. He then pulled the bandage back to reveal a small
puncture wound to his thumb. The porter believed the amount of blood was excessive for the comparatively small injury.
Minutes later, Ali went to the reception with a dressing around his hand. The receptionist did not see any blood or the injury.
Ali told the night manager that he had taken photos of the injury on his phone and showed them to him. The night manager was shocked to see how deep the cut was, but Ali refused a second offer of medical attention.
Although Ali’s photos showed towels covered in blood, the night manager did not find any blood or evidence of the injury when he visited the room.
February 21, 2015: Ali sent an email to the hotel seeking compensation in which he described what had happened and attached photographs of a thumb injury. As a result,
Allianz, the hotel’s insurer, became involved in the case.
March 15, 2015: Ali emailed Allianz and stated he had lost £10,960 as he had not been able to work as a result of the injury.
April 28, 2015: Allianz examined the photos sent to them by Ali and discovered that the images had actually come from a YouTube video uploaded in January 2012. No money was paid out to Ali as a result of the claim.
March 2016: Following an investigation by IFED officers, Ali was voluntarily interviewed.
"Committing a crime to feed his own personal greed"
Detective Chief Inspector Andy Fyfe, of the City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department, said: “Ali saw no problem with exaggerating a personal insurance
claim and committing a crime to feed his own personal greed.
“On the night of the supposed accident, not only did he cause unnecessary inconvenience to the hotel staff, but he then went on to commit a crime.
“False insurance claims such as this one lead to increased overall costs to the public for their genuine insurance policies and drive-up the cost of hotels. As a result everyone is made to
suffer by insurance fraudsters.
“The Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department is committed to working with the insurance industry to catch fraudsters like Ali and stop them from making money from these crimes.”
Nick Kelsall, Allianz Insurance’s fraud manager, added: “This case is an example of the extreme lengths that fraudsters will go to for their own financial gain. Our fraud team undergo rigorous training, which includes the use of new technologies, to detect fraudulent claims.
"Thanks to our sophisticated training and the excellent detective work of our handler, we were able to analyse the images and provide the police with unimpeachable evidence that
they had been altered. This is becoming too common and people such as Ali are naïve to think that they can get away with this.”