In the Media

Insurer succeeds with private prosecution against claimant

PUBLISHED October 29, 2014

Insurance firm AXA has successfully brought a private prosecution against a man who claimed £100,000 for a work 'injury'.

Paul Gustar had alleged that he damaged his back while working for a haulage company. He issued county court proceedings against his employer, but medical records showed the back injury had existed previously and a text message suggested the injury was sustained pushing his girlfriend's car.

Gustar, 43, had also claimed to have reported the alleged incident to his line manager, but the manager denied any such report took place.

Following the collapse of his claim, AXA failed with an application for contempt, and therefore took the decision to pursue a private prosecution.

Gustar was found guilty on two counts of fraud under the Fraud Act 2006 at Truro Crown Court and given a three-year suspended sentence.

His Honour Judge Harvey Clark said the insurer was 'entirely justified' in bringing the prosecution to deter insurance fraud.

Chris Voller, claims director at AXA, said the decision to pursue a prosecution was not taken lightly but was necessary to show the industry working to combat fraud.

'Gustar is just one example of the many thousands of individuals who attempt to defraud our industry every year, driving up the cost of everyone's insurance,' he said. 'But I believe that the success of this prosecution should serve as a stark warning to anyone who considers attempting to defraud insurers.'

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