Allianz Insurance employees took £7,000 of bribes to pass on customer details
Three Allianz Insurance employees who made more than £7,000 by accepting bribes for customer data have been given suspended jail terms.
Kayleigh Underhill, Andrew Clarke and Reace Bowenwere were approached by brothers Sajaad and Shaiad Nawaz.
The trio were persuaded to illegally hand them information regarding Allianz Insurance customers who been involved in road collisions. The information was then sent by the brothers to claims management companies.
Once passed to claims management companies, the customers were cold called and persuaded to commence a personal injury claim.
In total the trio leaked more than 700 pieces of confidential data.
Underhill, aged 26, of Laxton Grove, Solihull, was given a 12 month jail term suspended for 18 months and told to pay £1,050 compensation to Allianz Insurance.
Clarke, 24, of Elmbridge Drive, Solihull, was given an eight month jail term suspended for 18 months and told to pay £150 compensation to Allianz Insurance.
Bowen, 23, from Birmingham, was also given an eight month jail term suspended for 18 months and told to pay £300 compensation to Allianz Insurance.
All three pleaded guilty to bribery offences in February and were sentenced in April when they were also ordered to pay £540 costs to the court.
Sajaad Nawaz, 36, of Brays Road, Birmingham, pleaded guilty in May and was sentenced last week to four months imprisonment suspended for 15 months.
His brother Shaiad Nawaz, 34, of Eastcote Road, Acocks Green, Birmingham, was also sentenced last week following a trial at Birmingham Crown Court. He was given a six month jail term suspended for 15 months.
The group’s criminal activity came to light when a report was made to Action Fraud, the national fraud reporting centre for fraud and cyber crime, in November 2015.
The report was referred to the City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED) which used information from the report to identify the five offenders.
Detectives were able to gather evidence to show that Underhill, Clarke and Bowen had regular contact with the brothers via WhatsApp. While at work they would they would write customer data on their notepads, take photographs of this, and then pass the information via WhatsApp to both Nawaz brothers.
They would also discuss payment for this information in their WhatsApp conversations.
Underhill, Bowen and Clarke received approximately £250 per week for the information and their engagement with the bribers.
Detective Constable Daryl Fryatt, who led the case, said: “It is a criminal offence to leak customer data and any employee who is considering doing this should think twice. Underhill, Clarke and Bowen were all in a position of trust and now have a criminal record and will be unable to work in a range of industries.
“Whilst the Nawaz brothers thought they could make easy money by selling on data, they have now found that it is not that easy and they too have been sentenced as a result of their involvement.
“None of the offenders considered the consequences of selling this customer data and had no thought around the fact that people would end up receiving cold calls from claims management companies. They completely breached the trust of the customers and took advantage of the position they were in."
Graham Gibson, Chief Claims Officer at Allianz Insurance said: “We are extremely disappointed by the actions of these three individuals and we have worked in close co-operation with the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED) during their investigations.
“Keeping our customers data safe from rogue Claims Management Companies is a priority for Allianz and we will work closely with the police to help prosecute those involved in this type of activity.
“Allianz has a zero tolerance to data theft which is not a victimless crime. This often leads to cold calling and pressure on our customers to pursue claims that lack validity and it must be stamped out.”