Saturday 18 November 2017

Insurance firm alleges eastern European fraud ring behind injury claims

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Ray Managh

Insurance firm Zurich and the Motor Insurers' Bureau of Ireland (MIBI) believe they have uncovered a sophisticated, multi-million euro eastern European fraud ring behind damages claims.

The allegation was made in the Circuit Civil Court in a sworn statement by solicitor David Culleton, on behalf of Zurich and the MIBI.

Evidence from an insurance probe into "suspicious multiple claims" was laid before Judge Jacqueline Linnane when she was asked to refer papers to the DPP in a €60,000 personal injury claim by Belgard Motors director Ivo Janmers.

Barrister Paul McMorrow, counsel for Zurich and the bureau, told the court his clients were seeking legal costs against Mr Janmers who, despite court orders, had failed to turn up for medical examinations or produce his medical records and had not proceeded with his case.

Judge Linnane said she was aware from Mr Culleton's affidavit of a considerable and thorough investigation by the insurers into a number of cases, including Mr Janmers's, leading them to conclude last minute insurance had been taken out just prior to a litany of accidents they believed to have been staged.

Mr Culleton told the court that Mr Janmers's claim was one of six "highly suspicious" and "strikingly similar" type of accidents, each tainted by some element of fraud, collusion or conspiracy.

"As a result of their investigations, Zurich and the bureau believe they have been deliberately targeted as part of an organised and sophisticated eastern European fraud ring which has generated an exposure to a potential 25 personal injuries claims," Mr Culleton said.

Such claims, if confined, could cost the insurers €2m in compensation and legal costs and expenses involving forensic engineers and, in many cases, private detectives.

High Court cases could amount to many multiples of millions.

Mr Culleton said since commencing his proceedings in July 2015 for damages for a badly injured back, the 34-year-old Mr Janmers had continued to lead a flamboyant, active and sporting lifestyle including exposure on social media.

He said Mr Janmers's business interests included directorship of Belgard Motors with an address at Old Belgard Road, Tallaght, Dublin.

He said Mr Janmers was connected with at least four of the six accidents which Zurich and the bureau had committed to the closest scrutiny.

He said that in January last Mr Janmers had been ordered by the court to turn up at pre-arranged medical examinations, pay for medical costs of examinations he had already failed to attend and provide his full medical records to the defendants.

"In contempt of those orders he has failed to comply with a single one of them and we are seeking our costs in the matter and applying for the court to refer the papers to the DPP," Mr McMorrow said.

Irish Independent

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