QBE-BLM tandem triumphs against fraudster

Zero compensation and a two-year custodial sentence – albeit suspended for two years – are what convicted fraudster Liam Jones has received after he was found exaggerating an employers’ liability claim against a QBE policyholder.

Jones, whose camp rejected an early offer to settle, reported having trouble with stairs, being unable to work, and that he could only walk with the assistance of a crutch due to injuries sustained from a roof fall. The offer was based on QBE’s assessment of liability and the extent of injuries.

The insurer’s counterfraud unit believed Jones’s claim was out of proportion. He claimed damages to the tune of £700,000.

With evidence – among them showing Jones using ladders in his capacity as a roofer – contradicting the claimant’s assertions, QBE decided to pursue him by way of a private criminal prosecution for fraud. Law firm BLM acted for the provider and its insured in both the civil claim and private prosecution.

Jones was found guilty in Liverpool Crown Court.

“This case demonstrates how important it is to take a hard line when faced with a claim tainted by fraud or exaggeration,” noted BLM partner Stuart Furniss. “The sentence should also act as a clear deterrent to those seeking to defraud insurers and their customers and hopefully help to reduce the number of similarly fraudulent claims which continue to drive up premiums for others.”

Meanwhile QBE Business Insurance claims director Mike East commented: “Fraud, including exaggerated claims, remains a major issue in our industry and we are pleased with the sentencing of Mr Jones.

“His prosecution is another in a long line of fraud cases in which our counterfraud team has been alert to fraudulent activity and has tirelessly pursued perpetrators in defence of our customers’ interests.”

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