Three men have admitted plotting to defraud an insurance company by hiring a coach and orchestrating a fake crash
Ben Carberry, 21; Liam Gray, 26; and Kevin Hamilton, 36, all pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud at Southwark Crown Court.
The trio confessed that Carberry, who frequently arranged transport for supporters of Everton FC, had hired the coach to take 30 passengers from a pub in Bootle to Manchester's Belle Vue dog racing track on 9 December 2011.
On the way, though, passengers started to shout at the coach driver, Paul Woodruff, telling him to stop because there had been a collision
It transpired that Hamilton had intentionally driven into the coach in a Renault Megane that had previously been procured and insured by Gray – but that the impact had been so gentle that Woodruff hadn't even noticed.
Nevertheless, passengers complained of numerous personal injuries, and asked to go back to Bootle in Liverpool.
Woodruff said that he later watched as they then sprinted across a dual carriageway to return to the pub.
All 30 passengers later made insurance claims for whiplash. With each claim potentially amounting to £5,000, the maximum cost to the insurance company would have been £150,000.
A similar case, currently being heard at Sheffield Crown Court, alleges that an accident claims company, City Claims 4 U, hired a bus and filled it with its own passengers.
The bus driver, it's claimed, then drove the bus at low speed into the back of another car deliberately.
26 people on the bus then made almost identical whiplash claims.
One passenger, Sarah Drummond, said "A form had my name on it before I got on the bus. My friend asked me if I wanted to claim, but I said no. It seemed fake."
The trial continues.