Fake sickness claims fraudster jailed after newspaper sting

Jet2holidays has welcomed the jailing of a fake holiday sickness claims fraudster.

Brian Cromby was convicted at Liverpool Crown Court and jailed for 12 months.

Cromby was sentenced by judge David Aubrey on Friday after being charged with intentionally encouragingly assisting in the commission of an offence contrary to section 44 of the Serious Crimes Act 2007.

Cromby, 34, from Liverpool, previously pleaded guilty to the charge after evidence showed he had connections with individuals who made fraudulent sickness claims against Jet2holidays. He is believed to be the first claims businessman to be prosecuted.

More: Travel Weekly’s Fight Fake Claims campaign

Tui customer made to pay £20,000 over dishonest sickness claim

Four convicted of contempt of court over fake holiday sickness claim

An investigation by the Mail on Sunday showed that Cromby had advised two reporters on how to make a fraudulent claim.

He was filmed telling two journalists how he could secure them each a payout of £2,000 if they lied about being ill on holiday.

He was able to exploit a legal loophole and encourage a huge rise in fake sickness claims.

His firm, RTA Solutions, which was set up in 2014 and closed in May, found clients and directed them to lawyers.

It is illegal for lawyers to pay claims companies for referrals but many get round the rules by paying a monthly retainer.

The judge said: “In my view, you were rumbled by investigative reporters and you were rumbled plying a dishonest trade under the guise of a legitimate business.

“The truth is it was a sham. It was a scam and at the very least it was promoting or encouraging dishonest civil claims.

“What you were intending was to persuade another to dupe, deceive, swindle, defraud a travel company by making representations relating to potential holiday sickness, when in truth you were promoting dishonesty.

“You thought the investigative journalists were potential clients and you were driven by the concept of dishonest, easy money.”

He added: “You had set up a claims business called RTA Solutions, but it had nothing to do with solutions. It was to do with promoting dishonest civil claims.”

The number of holiday sickness claims soared by 500% between 2013 and 2016, driven by unscrupulous claims management firms, prompting some hoteliers to warn that they would withdraw holidays from the UK market.

Jet2holidays led a campaign to stamp this out – even hiring private investigators to catch touts in action.

The Ministry of Justice announced the extension of fixed recoverable costs in April 2018 to cover holiday sickness claims brought under the Package Travel Regulations, making defence costs predictable and thus deterring bogus claims.

Jet2holidays has continued to investigate and defend any claims that are dishonest or illegitimate, resulting in a number of victories in court.

CEO Steve Heapy said: “Jet2holidays and the Mail on Sunday have led the way to stamp out the scourge of fake sickness claims, which was criminal fraud driven by unscrupulous claims management companies and individuals like Brian Cromby.

“We are delighted to see justice served, and although we have already succeeded in changing the law to deter bogus sickness claims, we continue to investigate all claims robustly and the courts will very clearly not hesitate to punish anyone engaging in such fraud.”

MoreTravel Weekly’s Fight Fake Claims campaign

Tui customer made to pay £20,000 over dishonest sickness claim [Jan 19]

Four convicted of contempt of court over fake holiday sickness claim [Oct 18]


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