Customs investigators have cracked what is believed to be the UK's biggest car insurance fraud - run by a couple in Thanet. The couple ran a "ghost" brokerage offering cheap price insurance by lying to legitimate companies.
It meant that had drivers had accidents their policies would not have paid out for damage or injuries.
The couple, from Westgate-on-Sea, funded a luxury lifestyle through their £340,000 tax and motor insurance fraud. They were jailed following an investigation led by HM Revenue and Customs.
Elina Jaksone, 36, and Gagik Kyriacos Manucharyan, 40, failed to declare or pay tax on their £920,000 earnings as ‘ghost’ insurance brokers. They used the criminal proceeds to buy a £365,000 property, fund private education and purchase two Mercedes vehicles, one of which cost £56,000.
They enjoyed frequent holidays to exotic destinations including Jamaica, Mauritius, Mexico and Tokyo.
The couple’s motor insurance fraud involved the supply of false and misleading information to insurance companies, when arranging policies for their clients.
Jaksone and Manucharyan contacted insurance companies posing as their clients, providing limited information. This allowed the clients, who were mostly Eastern Europeans in the UK, to buy cheaper policies, but the lies meant policies were potentially void.
The couple pocketed about £100 a time in brokerage fees for each policy they arranged, raising £920,000 in the process. None of this income was ever declared to HMRC.
Jaksone also fraudulently claimed £82,000 in tax credits and pension credits by pretending to be a single mother with high childcare costs. She used her mother’s details to obtain pension credits and winter fuel allowance payments.
Four men and a woman have been charged with income tax fraud worth more than £2m in Southampton. The charges were made against Lithuanians Ruslanas Bobrovas, 36, Tatjana Novikova, 44, Arturas Novikovas, 23, and British citizens Besick Zveiba, 40, and Lubomyr Sytaiylo, 37. All five have been bailed.