Crash for cash boss’s spoilt ex sentenced

LAVISH: Unemployed Hay owned a Lincoln Navigator and a Mercedes C180 which were both paid for with crime

THE EX-GIRLFRIEND  of the man who forced people to crash into the back of him to make money has been sentenced for enjoying the trappings of his trade.

Ettorina Hay, 29, of Kirkby Road, Bolton pleaded guilty to two counts of possession and conversion of criminal property.

On Tuesday 22 December 2009, Hay was sentenced to 12 months in prison, suspended for two years, along with 300 hours unpaid community work.

Crash for cash boss Mohammed Patel, 24, of Nottingham Drive, Bolton was earlier jailed for four and a half years at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court after admitting being the driver in at least 93 forced collisions between 2005 and 2008.

A police investigation supported by the Insurance Fraud Bureau exposed a scam that could have led to an exposure to insurers of millions of pounds.

The investigation, one of the largest of its kind in the country, revealed Patel deliberately caused collisions for whichever client was willing to give up his car keys and insurance details.

He would be paid a fee while the claimants demanded compensation for personal injury, courtesy cars and legal fees at the expense of the other party’s insurers.

Throughout this period Hay was in a relationship with Patel, and lived in a rented house on Kirkby Road in Bolton.

Hay was unemployed and enjoyed a lavish lifestyle, paid for by Patel who spoiled her with the trappings of his trade.

FRAUDSTER: Caused 93 crashes earning him 10s of thousands of pounds

After Patel was arrested, officers went to the house as part of their inquiries. Two luxury cars, a Lincoln Navigator and Mercedes C180, were parked outside. Both of these cars had been registered in her name.

More expensive property was found inside the house, including a large plasma TV, leather sofas, designer clothes and cash.

Further inquiries showed that Patel’s money also paid for holidays to Spain, France and Turkey, as well as her general living costs.

Sergeant Mark Beales, from the Specialist Operations Branch, who has led the police investigation said: “Hay had her suspicions over Patel always having large sums of cash at his disposal, yet she took it regardless. She turned a blind eye to where it came from and is now paying the price. ‘

“She has no doubt benefited significantly from Patel’s criminality.

“The message is clear to anyone who thinks they can earn a living from a life of crime.

“We will pursue not only criminals like Patel, but those such as Hay who think there is nothing wrong with spending money that does not lawfully belong to them.

“Patel and Hay now face proceedings under the Proceeds of Crime Act.”

John Beadle, IFB Board Member comments: “Insurance fraud is not a victimless crime. This latest custodial sentence demonstrates that those who turn a blind eye and benefit from the proceeds of this type of criminality equally run the risk of a criminal record and time behind bars.

“Together with the police, the Insurance Fraud Bureau will continue to find, expose and pursue those involved in this kind of criminal activity. We would urge anyone with information on insurance fraud to call the Bureau’s free and confidential Cheatline on 0800 3282550 or report it online at http://www.insurancefraudbureau.org/report.”

To find out more about Patel’s story click here.

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