Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Fraudster Loses Payback Appeal

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Fraudster Loses Payback Appeal

Article excerpt

Byline: Harry Preston Reporter ec.news@ncjmedia.co.uk

ONE of the members of a family gang which ran a multi-million pound 'cash-for-crash' scam has been told by top judges he must pay back all of his ill-gotten gains.

Robert Wright, who took part in a staged crash and then made a dodgy claim for personal injury, damage to his car, storage and hire car costs was jailed for nine months at Newcastle Crown Court in March last year, after admitting fraud.

He was one of 60 people who were jailed - including six other members of his own family - for various roles in a massive insurance fraud which saw other car owners' premiums rocket.

Wright, 32, of Holmside Lane, Burnhope, County Durham, was ordered to pay nearly PS5,000 by a judge at the same crown court in June last year following a proceeds of crime hearing.

He challenged the figure at London's Criminal Appeal Court, with his lawyers arguing he should only have to pay less than half that amount - as the rest went on solicitors' fees for his false claim.

But his appeal was thrown out by three of the country's most senior judges, who said that was part and parcel of his 'benefit' from his dishonesty and he must pay the full bill - plus an extra PS300 towards the costs of his appeal.

Wright was one of 60 people who were either found guilty of, or admitted, roles in a massive scam which involved claims for bogus car crashes and was one of the largest cases of its kind in the UK.

The fraud was so bad that people living in Derwentside, County Durham, where the main players behind the scam were based, paid up to PS100 extra for car insurance.

Wright was ordered to pay back PS4,916, which the crown court judge concluded was the amount of 'benefit' he had gained from his part in the scam.

His lawyers argued he should only have to pay back the PS2,007 he was given from insurers in settlement of his fraudulent compensation claim. …

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