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Suspended prison sentence for man who submitted fraudulent insurance claim to Hertfordshire County Council over pothole damage which he said left him with back and neck injuries

A man has been given a suspended prison sentence for a fraudulent pothole claim to Hertfordshire County Council (HCC) which he said had left him with back and neck injuries.

Anaib Mohammad, 53, pleaded guilty to four counts of fraud when he appeared at St Albans Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday (April 10). He was sentenced to 16 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months, and was ordered to pay costs of £8,512.

Mohammad was charged with making a false representation to HCC by submitting a false insurance claim. In 2020 he made two separate claims to the council saying he had hit a pothole which had damaged his car and left him with back and neck injuries. He claimed £650 for the vehicle damage.

When questioned by officers from Hertfordshire’s Shared Anti-Fraud Service, Mohammad said he knew nothing of the claim and that a neighbour or local drug dealer had possibly submitted it in his name. He claimed he sold the car in question in January 2020.

The investigation found that the invoice he supplied to the council for the car repairs was fraudulent. The company from where it allegedly originated confirmed it had undertaken no work.

Various organisations confirmed Mohammad was insured on the car until he sold it in August 2020.

Mohammad, of Trinity Hall Close, Watford, committed the offences while serving a suspended sentence for a different offence, the court heard.

Nick Jennings, head of HCC’s shared anti-fraud service, said: “Mr Mohammad falsely represented himself to the council in order to make a gain from the public purse. Thanks to help from the public, local businesses and our own investigative work, we have been able to ensure that taxpayers’ money was safeguarded and Mr Mohammad was brought to justice.

“We take all attempts to defraud the council extremely seriously and will continue to use every tool available to detect and stop the abuse of taxpayers’ money.”

HCC’s shared anti-fraud service works in partnership with local authorities and registered social landlords to investigate and prosecute allegations of fraud against the many services delivered by the council.

You can report suspected fraud in the strictest confidence. Visit www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/reportfraud, email fraud.team@hertfordshire.gov.uk or call 0300 123 4033.

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