When it comes to stories that hit the headlines, there are some elements that will definitely ensure newspaper or online editors want to include the story and that people want to read them. A story with a fraud element is always going to be slightly exciting and if you are able to add in a footballer and a former Miss England, you have a story that will be enjoyed by countless people across the country.

This story isn’t quite as salacious as suggested, the former Miss England is also the footballer, female player Amy Laban, but it is still a story that plenty of people will read out and take an interest in. Laban played football for the Birmingham City female team and she has been sent to jail for a fraudulent act which cost an insurance firm thousands of pounds.

The footballer was sentenced to two months in jail relating to the whiplash claim she made in 2012. This was after being involved in a car crash and Laban received £3,000 from her insurance company. However, it turns out that Laban made a number of errors with her claim and she was eventually caught out.

The Story Started to Unravel

Laban failed to attend for a number of medical appointments, which started to make the insurance firm suspicious of the claim. This led to them carrying out an investigation. The investigation uncovered that during the time Laban was allegedly recovering from her injuries, she was still playing football and that she was in training for a skydive for charity. There were also social media posts of Laban taking part in a mechanical rodeo bull ride just weeks after the crash took place.

Laban said in court that she had only claimed for whiplash because she was encouraged to do so by a number of lawyers. She released a statement saying that she was “Young, vulnerable, stupid, but also taken advantage of by a claims company.” Laban pleaded guilty to contempt of court and in summing up and sentencing, the judge said; “People think this is a victimless crime, however, it uses the courts resources to facilitate the crime; it uses insurers’ resources. Genuine claimants have the eye of suspicion cast on their claims. The courts have stressed repeatedly that those who commit this must receive prison sentences.”

When it comes to common fraudulent activities, it would be fair to say that whiplash claims rank highly. It is believed that there are around 500,000 claims for whiplash injuries made every year. It is not possible for insurance companies to know the exact number of fake claims but there are reports that some people believe the number of false claims to be around 50%. If so, this is a startling amount of false claims being made.

People in the Public Eye need to know that they will be Scrutinised

There is no doubt that being in the public eye should have made the footballer aware that she would be scrutinised for her actions, but there have been many people who have been caught out in a similar manner. One man from London who claimed for a whiplash injury in 2013 was caught out when he was filmed taking part in a cage fight a number of days later. There was also a story released by LV= about a mother who claimed for whiplash injuries for herself and her daughter.

However, this claim fell apart after a Facebook post was found. The post, posted just after the incident, suggested that the claimant had been in an accident and she was badly shaken by it, but she also gave thanks for the fact that her daughter was not with her at the time. When you are going to carry out a fraudulent claim, this is the sort of aspect that you need to have taken care of otherwise you will find that your claim will be thrown out quickly.

It can be seen that some of these claims can be viewed in a fun manner, but they are fraudulent claims that can impact on businesses and ultimately consumers. This is why people who make these claims are likely to be prosecuted to the full effect of the law if the insurance company finds any discrepancy that suggests a fraudulent claim has been made. This is why a chance to make some easy money can very quickly turn into a situation where a person needs to call on the skills and services of a reliable and effective lawyer.

Andrew Reilly is a freelance writer with a focus on news stories and consumer interest articles. He has been writing professionally for 9 years but has been writing for as long as he can care to remember. When Andrew isn’t sat behind a laptop or researching a story, he will be found watching a gig or a game of football.