Ex-Birmingham City ladies football player jailed for fraud

Fake whiplash claim undermined by foolish mistakes

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Amy Laban

Former Birmingham City footballer, and Ex-Miss England, Amy Laban, has been jailed for conning an insurance company out of thousands of pounds in compensation.

The 25-year-old from Nottingham was sentenced to two months in prison, after Laban claimed she had suffered whiplash in a car crash in Birmingham in 2012. She conned £3,000 out of her insurer, but she made a number of obvious errors.

She missed medical appointments, which is what made the insurance firm suspicious, and it launched an investigation. At that point it discovered that while Laban was meant to be suffering from her injuries, she continued to play football, and tweeted about training for a charity skydive. Among the most revealing tweets was one of her riding a mechanical rodeo bull just a few weeks after the crash.

The Mirror reported that Laban told the court she had only claimed for whiplash because she had received phone calls from a number of lawyers encouraging her to do so. In a statement she said she was: "Young, vulnerable, stupid, but also taken advantage of by a claims company."

According to the Birmingham Mail, she admitted to contempt of court, and the judge sentenced her, saying: "People think this is a victimless crime, however, it uses the courts resources to facilitate the crime; it uses insurers' resources. Genuine claimants have the eye of suspicion cast on their claims. The courts have stressed repeatedly that those who commit this must receive prison sentences."

Not the first

Laban is one of a huge number of Whiplash hoaxers. There are around 500,000 whiplash claims made each year, and while insurers cannot be certain what proportion of these claims are fake, some estimates put it as high as 50%.

And while the actions that led to Laban getting caught may seem foolish, these are far from the daftest mistakes anyone has made when claiming. In 2013 one Londoner told his insurance company his whiplash meant he'd been unable to care for himself or his son. He was then filmed in a professional cage fight days later.

In 2013 LV= revealed one mum claimed she and her daughter were hurt in a crash – then posted on Facebook she was badly shaken in the accident but luckily her daughter was not in the car at the time.

It also told the story of the mum who was caught out claiming £3,000 for a whiplash injury in a crash in a friend's car - which took place at the same time she was giving birth.

Perhaps the most bizarre was in July 2012, when a man from Leeds called his insurance company to tell them he had suffered whiplash in an accident. Then he hung up and boasted about how easy it was to fool them. Unfortunately for him, he hadn't hung up properly, and the insurer recorded everything.

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