A fraudster has been convicted for making a false insurance claim to Hertfordshire County Council.
Carly Andrews, 26, of Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, was summoned to appear at St Albans Magistrates’ Court on March 31.
She was charged for submitting a false invoice for work to support her damage claim against the council in March 2019.
Andrews made a claim to the county council stating that her vehicle, a Porsche Cayenne, had been damaged by a pothole as she travelled on Cherry Tree Lane in Herts.
Andrews then submitted an invoice purporting to be from a local garage to repair damage caused to her vehicle along with an eBay screenshot of alloy wheels in order to claim an insurance pay out of £1,200.
Council staff were then said to have become suspicious of the claim and the case was referred to the Hertfordshire Shared Anti-Fraud Service to investigate.
Subscribe to our free daily HertsLive newsletter below to get the latest news straight to your inbox:
Sign up to the HertsLive newsletter
If you’re looking for a way to stay up to date with the latest breaking news from around Hertfordshire, the HertsLive newsletter is a good place to start.
The twice-daily update will deliver the top news and features straight to your inbox.
We choose the most important stories of the day to include in the newsletter, including crime, court news, long reads, traffic and travel, food and drink articles and more.
Signing up to the newsletter is simple. All you have to do is to click here and type in your email address.
It’s one of the many ways that you can read the news that matters to you from HertsLive.
The subsequent investigation revealed that Andrews’ vehicle had not been repaired at the garage as she had claimed, and when interviewed she admitted she had submitted a false claim and had falsified the documents that were sent to the council to support this.
As a result of the investigation her claim against the council was withdrawn and no payments were made to her.
Andrews pleaded guilty to one charge of fraud by false representation at the first opportunity on March 21 and on sentencing, the court was satisfied that this was a planned and sophisticated fraud and was committed only a year after a previous conviction for theft.
Andrews was sentenced to four weeks in custody suspended for 12 months, a 20-day rehabilitation activity requirement and ordered to pay £2,356.19 costs.
Enter your postcode below for the latest crime stats in your area:
She also had to pay a £115 victim surcharge.
Scott Crudgington, Director of Resources at Hertfordshire County Council, said: “Ms Andrews’ actions were unacceptable and constitute a crime which the county council takes seriously.
“The time taken to assess her claim could have been spent more effectively on addressing valid claims from our residents.
“Our team did a fantastic job of flagging the inconsistencies amongst Ms Andrews’ claim and we hope this case will serve as a reminder to others that we will always remain vigilant in cases which give us cause for suspicion.”
You can report suspected fraud in the strictest confidence and, for more information and to report your concerns, visit www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/reportfraud or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also call 0300 123 4033.