South East Wales

Crash for cash: 77 sentenced in huge car insurance scam

Newport Crown Court
Image caption The latest defendants were sentenced at Newport Crown Court over 11 months

A massive car insurance scam which netted £2m for the ringleaders has seen more than 150 people convicted for submitting bogus claims.

At Newport Crown Court on Friday, the final three people were sentenced, so the scale of the fraud can be revealed.

Fake crashes were concocted and bogus compensation claims submitted from 2009-2012 and the total number of people involved has now reached 158.

All those involved admitted or were convicted of conspiracy to defraud.

It follows a string of cases between 2011 and 2016 which saw the ringleaders jailed as part of a raft of convictions that reached 81.

The Yandell family's "crash for cash" swindle in south Wales went undetected for years due to the sheer number of people they roped into the scam.

It centred around using vehicles in staged accidents so the fraudsters could submit bogus and exaggerated insurance claims.

Now, as part of the investigation, a further 77 people have been sentenced over the past 11 months for additional insurance claims linked to the original inquiry.

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionThe scam operated out of a garage based in Pengam in Blackwood

Newport Crown Court heard many of the fraudsters visited the same doctor, Julian Sweetman, who diagnosed them with whiplash, situational anxiety or injuries typically associated with car crashes.

Judge Daniel Williams, addressing defendant Lyndon Carey, said: "Dr Sweetman's practice could have been sustained by members of your family."

Another defendant, Jamie Cotter, was diagnosed twice by this doctor after submitting two bogus claims in October 2009 and May 2010.

Judge Williams said: "After no doubt commiserating you on your misfortune, Dr Sweetman diagnosed you with whiplash and situational anxiety."

Dr Sweetman is not part of these criminal proceedings and the General Medical Council said he still held a licence to practice medicine.

Following the final sentencing, Gwent Police senior investigating officer Steve Maloney said: "The investigation has brought people to justice for their criminal activity but has also assisted our partners in the insurance industry to prevent future offences of this nature going undetected."

Ben Fletcher, director of the Insurance Fraud Bureau, said: "While we were pleased with the outcome of phase one of this investigation which resulted in a total of 601 months' jail time for the 81 fraudsters, we saw an opportunity to continue the fight and ensure that everyone involved was brought to justice."

The people who were sentenced:

  • Andrew Ashford, 42, Rhymney, Caerphilly county - 16 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months, and 80 hours of unpaid work. Must repay £1,700
  • Lee Baker, 26, Fleur-de-Lys - 12 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months, and 80 hours of unpaid work
  • Nicola Bartlett, 51, Bargoed - 12 months in prison
  • Daniel Barwood, 37, Maesycwmmer - 12 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months, and 80 hours of unpaid work
  • Phillip Bowditch, 37, Treowen - 26 weeks, suspended for 12 months and must pay £1,820 compensation
  • Lee Burgess, 33, Pontllanfraith - 20 weeks, suspended for 12 months, and 120 hours of unpaid work. Must pay £3,813.82 compensation
  • Lyndon Carey, 66, Markham - 12 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months. Must repay £1,800
  • Andrew Carpenter, 50, Cardiff - Jailed for 15 months for breaching the suspended sentence imposed at the last cash for crash trial in 2015
  • Emma Cook, 33, Cardiff - 26 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months. Must repay £8,160
  • Emma Cooper, 40, Caerphilly - 12-month community order and 40 hours of unpaid work. Must repay £2,360
  • Suzanne Cosh, 40, Cardiff - 26 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months and 150 hours of unpaid work. Must repay £2,020
  • Jamie Cotter, 34, Penpedairheol - 10 months in prison, suspended for 12 months and 200 hours of unpaid work. Must repay £3,522.90
  • Jade Cotter, 31, Caerphilly - 12-month community order and 120 hours of unpaid work. Must repay £1,945
  • Bethan Davies, 28, Blackwood - conditional discharge for 12 months. Must repay £1,700
  • Noel Davies, 58, Blackwood - 18 months in prison
  • Ryan Dix, 25, Blackwood - 26 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months, and 150 hours of unpaid work. Must repay £4,720
  • Jason Foat, 36, Caerau, Cardiff - 30 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months, plus a concurrent six weeks for breach of a previous conditional discharge and 180 hours of unpaid work
  • Jonathan Fuller, 45, Cefn Fforest - 12-month conditional discharge
  • Christian Gallent, 43, Bargoed - 16 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months, and 120 hours of unpaid work. Must repay £2,209.40
  • Stephen George, 43, Abertysswg - 26 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months, and 150 hours of unpaid work. Must repay £1,375
  • Michael Griffiths, 34, Nelson - 12-month community order and 120 hours of unpaid work. Must repay £1,600
  • Victoria Griffiths, 35, Newport - 26 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months, 150 hours of unpaid work. Must repay £800
  • Gary Hamer, 31, Blackwood - 12-month community order and 60 hours of unpaid work
  • Phillip Hammond, 34, Ynysybwl , Rhondda Cynon Taff - 12 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months, and 80 hours of unpaid work
  • Natasha Hardacre, 33, Aberbargoed - 16 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months. Must repay £3,575
  • Raymond Hardacre, 32, Bargoed - 18 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months, and 120 hours of unpaid work
  • Christopher Hayes, 37, Cardiff - 12-month community order and 40 hours of unpaid work. Must repay £2,310
  • Jodie Instone, 37, Pontllanfraith - 12-month community order and 120 hours of unpaid work. Must repay £1,600
  • Mark Instone, 41, Pontllanfraith - 12-month community order and 120 hours of unpaid work. Must repay £5,000
  • Daniela Jones, 50, Gelligaer - 15 months in prison, suspended for 18 months. Must repay £1,200
  • Dean Jones, 42, Aberdare, Rhondda Cynon Taff - 16 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months, and 120 hours of unpaid work. Must repay £1,830
  • Kirsty Jones, 41, Aberdare - 12 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months, and 100 hours of unpaid work. Must repay £3,350
  • Stacey Jones, 30, Bargoed - 18 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months, and 120 hours of unpaid work
  • Rafal Lamot, 40, Crewe, Cheshire: 12 months in prison
  • Joseph Lewis, 28, Cardiff - 26 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months, and 150 hours of unpaid work. Must repay £1,720
  • Carrie Miller, 32, Blackwood - 26 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months, and 150 hours of unpaid work. Must repay £2,525.98
  • Amanda Morris, 53 Aberbargoed - 12 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months. Must repay £3,200
  • Kyle Morris, 31, Penallta - 20 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months, and 120 hours of unpaid work. Must pay £1,140 compensation
  • Nathan Morris, 33, Aberbargoed - 10 months in prison
  • Matthew Nicklin, 28, Newbridge - 26 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months, and 150 hours of unpaid work
  • Kieron Nutt, 28, Blackwood - 26 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months, and 150 hours of unpaid work. Must repay £1,035
  • Nick O'Connor, 35, Maesycwmmer - 26 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months, and 160 hours of unpaid work. Must repay £2,430
  • Gemma Owen, 35, Rhydyfelin, Rhondda Cynon Taff - 12-month community order and 40 hours of unpaid work
  • Darren Phillips, 34, Blackwood - 12-month conditional discharge
  • Ceri Powell, 41, Treharris, Merthyr Tydfil - 16 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months, and 80 hours of unpaid work
  • Mark Powell, 37, Treharris, Merthyr Tydfil - 16 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months, and 80 hours of unpaid work
  • Gemma Price, 28, Blackwood - 26 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months, and 150 hours of unpaid work. Must repay £2,120
  • Ian Price, 70, Blackwood - 26 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months, and 150 hours of unpaid work. Must repay £3,725
  • Sharon Price, 47, Blackwood - 18 months in prison, suspended for eight months, and must do 200 hours of unpaid work
  • Aiden Rees, 43, Bargoed - 12 months in prison, suspended for 18 months, and 180 hours of unpaid work
  • Laura Rees, 31, Gelligaer - 26 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months, and 150 hours of unpaid work. Must repay £1,500
  • Daniel Roberts, 34, Argoed - 12 months in prison, suspended 18 months. Must repay £3,670
  • Mathieu Roberts, 37, Treharris, Merthyr Tydfil - 18 months in prison
  • Stacey Roberts, 32, Maesycwmmer - 10 months in prison, suspended for 18 months, and 200 hours of unpaid work. Must repay £1,720
  • Terry Roberts, 68, Hengoed - 12 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months. Must repay £2,815
  • Maciej Sadowski, 26, New Tredegar - 26 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months, and 150 hours of unpaid work. Must repay £2,500
  • Jan Sadowski, 57, New Tredegar - 26 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months, and 150 hours of unpaid work. Must repay £3,815
  • Guy Swift, 32 Aberbargoed - 16 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months, and 120 hours of unpaid work. Must repay £750
  • Ross Taylor, 33, Aberbargoed - 12-month community order and 150 hours of unpaid work
  • Nicky Taysome, 35, Blackwood - 12-month community order and 120 hours of unpaid work
  • Paula Thomas, 52, Nelson - 28 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months, and 180 hours of unpaid work. Must repay £3,176.41
  • Paul Thomas, 53, Nelson - 15 months in prison and must pay £3,000 compensation
  • Sean Thomas, 33, Nelson - 15 months in prison
  • Diane Veall, 70, Bargoed - 26 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months. Must repay £1,200
  • Rachel Veall, 30, Bargoed - 12-month community order and 40 hours of unpaid work. Must repay £1,880
  • William Veall, 73, Gelligaer - 18 months in prison, suspended for 18 months. Must repay £1,200
  • William Andrew Veall, 52, Bargoed - 12-month conditional discharge
  • Jonathan Wagstaff, 42, Newport - 12-month community order and 120 hours of unpaid work. Must repay £1,750
  • Matthew Walther, 32, Pontllanfraith - 20 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months, and 120 hours of unpaid work. Must pay £1,500 compensation
  • Carl Wilkins, 46, Blackwood - 26 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months. Must repay £1,850
  • Garhard Williams, 50, Tredegar, Blaenau Gwent - 12-month community order and 80 hours of unpaid work. Must repay £160.84
  • Kayleigh Williams, 31, Pontypridd, Rhondda Cynon Taff - 12-month community order and 80 hours of unpaid work
  • Elzbieta Wlodarczyk, 53, Crewe - eight months in prison
  • Jonathan Wood, 43, Senghenydd - 16 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months, and 100 hours of unpaid work. Must repay £170.40
  • Anthony Beckett, 42, - eight-month prison sentence suspended for 12 months plus 120 hours unpaid work and pay compensation of £2,224
  • Mark Alexander, 41, - eight-month prison sentence suspended for 12 months plus 120 hours community service and pay compensation of £5,695
  • Anne Marie Alexander, 41, - eight-month prison sentence suspended for 12 months, plus 120 hrs of unpaid work and pay compensation of £1,845.

Related Topics

More on this story

Around the BBC