Warrington fraudsters jailed for selling fake PPI data Date published: 28th October 2016 3.23pm

Two Warrington men have been jailed for their part in a UK wide scam which centered on false Personal Injury and Payment Protection Insurance information.

On Thursday 27 October, at Warrington Crown Court, Anthony Dowd, 30, from Dundee Close, Winwick, Warrington, who defrauded businesses out of nearly £100,000, was jailed for 18 months after he pleaded guilty to Fraud by False representation.

His accomplice, James Kirkham, 26, of Grasmere Avenue, Poplars & Hulme, Warrington, who hid some of the stolen money in his bank, received an 8 month sentence after he was found guilty of money laundering.

The charges relate to an investigation that was launched in 2014 by Cheshire Constabulary in collaboration with the Claims Management Regulation Unit. The investigation focused on businesses from across the UK who all reported that they had been miss-sold Personal Injury and Payment Protection Insurance information.

The businesses claimed that they had been contacted by Anthony Dowd, 30, offering the contact details for people who had been miss-sold Payment Protection Insurance or had been involved in accidents that weren’t their fault. However, after paying Dowd, all of the businesses received data which was found to be totally useless.

The investigation uncovered that Dowd had deceived at least 22 businesses from across the UK out of approximately £99,000. While conducting the investigation officers also discovered that Dowd had been transferring some of the money (approximately £35,000) into the bank account of a family friend, James Kirkham, in an attempt to hide the money.

After gathering the evidence Dowd and Kirkham were both arrested by officers from Cheshire Police and were formally charged in February 2016.

Following sentencing Detective Constable Ian Wetherall, of Cheshire Police Economic Crime Unit said: “This is an excellent result and I hope that the sentence will act as a warning to other potential fraudsters.

“Fraud is not a victimless crime, and in this case more than 20 businesses were defrauded out of thousands of pounds and thousands of innocent residents received unwanted and unnecessary calls from people offering Personal Injury and Payment Protection Insurance claims.

“I hope that this case reassures residents that Cheshire Police treats fraud extremely seriously and we will take robust action against offenders involved in this type of crime.”

Anyone who believes they may have been a victim of fraud should report it by contacting Cheshire Police on 101. Alternatively you can call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or report it online at www.actionfraud.co.uk.