A man who changed his name multiple times by deed poll and used the identities of his family and friends to make bogus travel insurance claims worth an estimated total of £75,000, has been sentenced.

Sam William Carr, 34, of St Peters Terrace, Bolton, took out 13 travel insurance policies with five insurance companies and made fraudulent claims for lost luggage and money against them.

Carr pleaded guilty at Inner Crown Court on 31 January 2024 to 10 counts of fraud by false representation. He was sentenced at the Royal Courts of Justice on 20 March 2024 to 20 months imprisonment, suspended for two years, and must also complete 200 hours of unpaid work and a 30 day rehabilitation activity requirement.

Detective Constable Vincent Baughan, from the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED) at City of London Police, said:

“Travel insurance is intended to be a reassuring safety net should the worst happen, not a means of personal financial gain.

“Carr had very little regard in terms of who he implicated in his crimes, using the identities of innocent friends and family members to claim on several policies. He even booked flights that he never took, showing the lengths that he went through to try and avoid detection.

“However, evidence gathered from several insurance companies allowed us to piece different parts of the case together and bring Carr to justice. Let this be a warning to anyone thinking of making bogus claims on insurance: no matter how many actions are taken to try to cover up your tracks, fraudulent activity will be picked up.”

The case was referred to the City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED) in February 2020 by LV= General Insurance. On 11 April 2019, Carr, who had taken out a travel insurance policy with LV= under the name Cruise Pierce, claimed that his luggage was lost during a flight to Australia 15 days earlier and £1,000 in cash had been stolen from his hotel room.

Checks made by LV= and its fraud team showed that the luggage could only have been missing for 11 days, and the claims were rejected after Carr did not respond to the insurer’s attempts to contact him.

Further enquiries showed that Carr had used different legal names and aliases, the most prominent being Cruise Archer Pierce and Sebastian Prince Alexander, to make fraudulent claims with Aviva, AXA Partners, Travel Insurance Facilities and Reactive Claims. He supplied numerous addresses including those of family members and storage units he rented when he took out the policies.

Carr would either claim for baggage that he stated had gone missing during flights abroad or money stolen from his destination hotel room. He supplied fake banking documents, utility bills and flight boarding passes to evidence the claims. In other instances, he genuinely booked the flights, but did not travel.

Carr’s activity resulted in him being paid a total of £11,321, as the majority of the claims were not paid out after they were deemed fraudulent. He made claims with three insurers for an iPhone 7, which he had already received compensation for following a burglary in 2017. He also bought two travel insurance policies, using different names, for a holiday to Los Angeles. However, when Carr made claims for lost luggage, he provided inaccurate flight times and mixed up the names of the policy holders.

IFED officers located Carr during a search warrant executed at his cousin’s home address with Greater Manchester Police. When nobody answered the door, officers forcibly removed it and found Carr standing behind it, and he was arrested.

Ben Fletcher, Director of Financial Crime at LV= General Insurance, said:

“This is a fantastic result and I’m proud of the investigation led by my team with the police to bring another fraudster to justice. Our range of tactics and intel help us find these criminals and ensure they’re stopped, and we continue to fight against all types of insurance fraud such as travel, car and home fake claims.”

Carl Mather, Manager, Special Investigations Unit at Aviva, added:

“Aviva welcomes this sentencing. Sam Carr’s attempt to defraud a number of travel insurers was as brazen as it was foolish because this case perfectly highlights the capability which exists within the industry. More than ever, there is a willingness among insurers to share intelligence and work together when fraud is detected. Aviva’s claims agent, Charles Taylor Assistance, should also be recognised for the excellent work they did in mitigating the impact of Carr’s offending.

“Aviva remains resolute in its determination to deliver an immediate, effective, and robust response to claims fraud and in so doing, safeguard our customers from the pressure it applies on policy premiums.”

During his police interview, Carr answered “no comment” to all questions asked.

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