Former insurance broker is jailed for fraud

Click to follow
The Independent Online

A former insurance consultant was jailed for two and a half years for deception and fraud yesterday, after stealing more than £1.3m of premiums from his clients.

A former insurance consultant was jailed for two and a half years for deception and fraud yesterday, after stealing more than £1.3m of premiums from his clients.

Robert Damon-Aspen set up an internet-based insurance broking business, CFT, in 1998, through which he offered clients professional indemnity and employers' liability cover. However, once the premiums were paid, he did not buy the cover in the Lloyd's of London insurance market, which he had promised. Instead, he pocketed the money.

Targeting small businesses, mostly in the IT industry, he built up a client base of more than 5,000 companies. But after a series of administrative errors, which led several of his clients to contact Lloyd's to ask why their temporary cover notes had not been replaced with policy documents, the Financial Services Authority launched an investigation into CFT. The City of London Police and Serious Fraud Office were then brought in when the scam was uncovered.

Passing sentence, Judge Edward Southwell said that the defendant "showed breathtaking greed and arrogance who intended to be dishonest from the start" and that it was "a serious, sophisticated and sustained fraud where many legitimate businesses were uninsured for a year, sometimes more, and were subject to possible dramatic and disastrous consequences".

As well as his prison sentence, Damon-Aspen was ordered to pay more than £210,000 within the next 12 months.

The SFO tracked down many of the scam's victims by setting up a website, which it used to compile information on the extent of their losses. Andrew Sackey, a lawyer for the SFO, said: "This was our first use of the internet to reach victims on this scale. It delivered detailed information ... far more quickly than we might normally expect. I anticipate that we will use a similar technique on future cases."

Comments