City of London Police investigation leads to local convictions

Five West Midlands people sentenced for leaking customer data.

Five people who made £7,000 from leaking more than 700 pieces of confidential data have been sentenced for bribery offences. An extensive investigation by detectives from the City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department found that three company employees had been individually approached and told they could be paid to leak confidential customer information.

Sajaad Nawaz and Shaiad Nawaz approached Kayleigh Underhill, Andrew Clarke and Reace Bowen who all worked at Allianz Insurance and persuaded them to hand over information regarding Allianz Insurance customers who been involved in collisions- the information was then sent by the brothers to claims management companies.

Kayleigh Underhill,26, of Laxton Grove, Solihull, West Midland, Andrew Clarke, 24 , of Elmbridge Drive, Solihull, West Midlands, Reace Bowen,23, from Birmingham, West Midlands all pleaded guilty in February and were sentenced on 7th April 2017 at Birmingham Crown Court. They received the following sentences:

Underhill – 12 months imprisonment suspended for 18 months
A rehabilitation order
£1050 compensation to be paid to Allianz Insurance

Clarke – 8 months imprisonment suspended for 18 months.
Community order
£150 compensation to be paid to Allianz Insurance

Bowen – 8 months imprisonment suspended for 18 months.
Community order
£300 to be paid to Allianz Insurance

All have been ordered to pay £540 costs to the court.

Sajaad Nawaz, 36, from Brays Road, Birmingham, West Midlands pleaded guilty at a mention hearing at Birmingham Crown Court in May 2017 and was sentenced last week. His brother Shaiad Nawaz age 34, from Eastcote Road, Acocks Green, Birmingham, was also sentenced, following a trial at Birmingham Crown Court.

Sajaad Nawaz – sentenced to four months imprisonment suspended for 15 months

Shaiad Nawaz – six months imprisonment suspended for 15 months and 20 days of rehabilitation activity.

The group’s criminal activity came to light when a report was made to Action Fraud, the national fraud reporting centre for fraud and cyber crime on 10 November 2015. The report was referred to IFED which used information from the report to identify the five offenders. Underhill, Clarke and Bowen all worked at the same insurance firm and were found to be accepting bribes for customer data from the Nawaz brothers.

Detectives were able to gather evidence to show that Underhill, Clarke and Bowen had regular contact with the brothers via WhatsApp. Whilst at work they would they would write customer data on their notepads take photographs of this and then pass the information via WhatsApp to both Nawaz brothers. They would also discuss payment for this information in their WhatsApp conversations.

Underhill, Bowen and Clarke received approximately £250 per week for the information and their engagement with the bribers. In total, the trio leaked over 700 pieces of customer data and made over £7000 by doing so. Once passed to claims management companies the customers were cold called and persuaded to commence a personal injury claim.

Detective Constable Daryl Fryatt who led the case for the City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department said: “It is a criminal offence to leak customer data and any employee who is considering doing this should think twice. Underhill, Clarke and Bowen were all in a position of trust and now have a criminal record and will be unable to work in a range of industries.

“Whilst the Nawaz brothers thought they could make easy money by selling on data, they have now found that it is not that easy and they too have been sentenced as a result of their involvement. None of the offenders considered the consequences of selling this customer data and had no thought around the fact that people would end up receiving cold calls from claims management companies. They completely breached the trust of the customers and took advantage of the position they were in.

“The Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department will continue to work tirelessly with insurers to ensure that this type of criminality does not exist within the industry and the result should reinforce this message and help to deter anyone who is thinking of getting involved in making a quick buck.”

Graham Gibson, Chief Claims Officer at Allianz Insurance added: “We are extremely disappointed by the actions of these three individuals and we have worked in close co-operation with the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department during their investigations.

“Keeping our customers data safe from rogue claims management companies is a priority for Allianz and we will work closely with the police to help prosecute those involved in this type of activity. Allianz has a zero tolerance to data theft which is not a victimless crime. This often leads to cold calling and pressure on our customers to pursue claims that lack validity and it must be stamped out.”