Amjed Malik and Shakir Javid
GUNNED down Amjed Iqbal ran a lucrative insurance scam with the man once alleged to have shot him.
When Iqbal, also known as Malik, was shot in the leg in 2009, his business partner Shakir Javid and another man were accused of carrying out the attack, but charges were later dropped.
Now Iqbal and Javid have been jailed for running “cash for crash” and mortgage scams worth more than £1m.
The pair, who ran an accident claims management firm in the West End of Newcastle, owned a fleet of taxis which they would hire out to cabbies whose cars were off the road.
But the fraudsters cooked the books, claiming thousands from insurance companies by making up accidents and claiming for costs which did not exist.
Newcastle Crown Court heard the pair also left a number of taxi drivers uninsured by providing them with fake insurance certificates.
Now Iqbal has been jailed for two years and four months, while Javid got three years.
The court heard they were partners at Accident and Claims Specialists (ACS), based on West Road, but there was an acrimonious falling out between the pair in 2008.
In 2009, Iqbal was shot in the leg at a house in Darras Hall, Ponteland.
The father-of-two was targeted by masked hitmen in a bungalow on Middle Drive, close to the homes of some of the region’s wealthiest residents. He had to undergo two operations and surgeons removed 50 pellets embedded in his leg.
After the fall out, Javid and his wife ran ACS from new premises on West Road while Iqbal stayed at the old shop and started running a rival business in the same line of work.
The court heard it was while the men were working together at ACS that the fraud happened.
Iqbal and Javid owned several licensed taxis and would hire them to cabbies whose vehicles were off the road with accident damage. Iqbal had also obtained the lease on a garage workshop in Conhope Lane, Newcastle, where damaged vehicles were taken.
Prosecutor Michael Graham said: “ACS would manage claims, supply hire cars and recover, store and repair accident damaged cars – all the facilities required to handle motor accident claims to their maximum financial advantage.
“Because Iqbal and Javid had access to plated taxis, ACS very much targeted the taxi trade for their business.
“Fraudulent claims were made to insurance companies for charges arising from road traffic accidents – charges for the recovery and storage of vehicles, and the hire of replacement vehicles.
“In some claims, there is evidence that no accident took place at all, in other claims sums have been claimed for recovery, storage or hire when this did not take place or otherwise, figures have been inflated.” Between 2006 and 2009, 34 false claims were made, fleecing insurance companies of £194,000.
The fraudulent business came to light when a solicitor working on behalf of Arriva Buses became suspicious about a claim which had been processed by ACS.
Police were called and they executed search warrants at premises owned or controlled by Iqbal and Javid.
Documents recovered from ACS showed some of the taxis had even been registered as having been hired to more than one person at the same time.
Analysis of other files demonstrated claims for car hire had been made when no car hire had been provided or the time periods had been exaggerated.
Police also found a number of fake insurance certificates had been issued by Iqbal and Javid, meaning a number of cabbies were driving round uninsured.
Some 38 forged insurance documents were recovered, most of which had been lodged with Newcastle and Gateshead councils’ licensing departments by unsuspecting taxi drivers. The court heard a number of cabbies made a statement complaining about the scam.
During the police investigation, officers discovered Iqbal and Javid had also lined their pockets with mortgage frauds.
Using his wife’s name, Javid obtained 11 mortgage advances worth £919,496 by making false declarations about his income. Iqbal took out a mortgage worth £139,749 for a property on Beadling Gardens, Newcastle, in July 2006.
On the form, he claimed him and his wife were earning almost £60,000 a year between them, but he had only declared an income of £1,444 to the taxman.
Iqbal, 35, of Hall Avenue, Fenham, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to acquire criminal property through fraud, obtaining a money transfer by deception and converting criminal property. Javid, 36, of Lindale Road, Fenham, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to acquire criminal property through fraud, acquiring criminal property and converting criminal property.
Taxi driver Zafar Hussain, 33, of Dunholme Road, Newcastle, pleaded guilty to one count of fraud by false representation after a fictitious insurance claim where he arranged to crash two cars into each other.
The details of an unsuspecting member of the public were used to make a false claim. An insurance company was defrauded of almost £14,000 as a result. Hussain was fined £800.
Andrew Rutter, for Iqbal, said: “He is vulnerable physically, part of his arm is missing and he now has a cage around his leg. He is a devoted family man and devout religiously.”
Robin Patton, for Javid, said: “There is a good side to him, he has tried to help others who are less fortunate. He will disgrace his family by going to prison and will not be able to assist his father, who he looks after.”
Caroline Goodwin, for Hussain, said his role was peripheral and he was remorseful.
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