Couple jailed for massive car insurance fraud


Couple jailed for massive car insurance fraud

Elina Jaksone and Gagik Manucharyan have been jailed for five years after setting up a "ghost" brokerage firm that saw customers conned into parting with cash in exchange for cheap car insurance.

Hundreds of motorists paid £100 each in commission to the couple, which resulted in a profit of around £920,000 that was used to put one of their children through public school.

Unknown to their customers the fraudulent pair then posed as the drivers and lied to underwriters about their details and records, in order to secure cheaper policies.

The seven-year scheme risked invalidating the policies held by their clients - mostly Eastern Europeans – leaving them without any cover.

Profits were spent on fees at one of Britain's most prestigious schools – which can't be named for legal reasons - and a £365,000 detached house.

They also indulged in five star holidays in Jamaica, Mauritius, Mexico and Tokyo and each drove Mercedes vehicles - one costing £56,000.

The pair also failed to pay any tax, which would have amounted to £340,000.

They were jailed following an investigation led by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

Jaksone and Manucharyan were charged with insurance and benefit fraud and convicted after a seven-week trial at Maidstone Crown Court.

Jaksone admitted fraudulently claiming £82,000 in tax credits and pension credits by posing as a single mother with high childcare costs.

She used her mother's details to claim pension credits and the winter fuel allowance.

The couple asked to be spared a jail sentence at the hearing, citing they would miss their children. But according to The Telegraph, Judge James O'Mahoney said: "That misery of being kept away from your children, is of your own making.

"You had plenty of time to have thought about what you were doing and the implications."

More than 30 drivers gave evidence at the trial, describing how they thought the insurance deals were legitimate.

The pair now face a financial investigation to recover some of the proceeds of the fraud. Their house in Westgate-on-Sea, Kent has been restrained.