Insurance fraudster guilty of conning doctors out of �1m

A MAN who made more than �1m by falsely selling locum insurance to doctors’ surgeries was yesterday (Monday) found guilty after a two week trial.

Mark Hazelwood, aged 48 of Tower View, Whitwell, was found guilty for fraudulent trading at Cambridge Crown Court.

The court heard how a police investigation began in April 2009 when the Financial Services Authority (FSA) contacted Hertfordshire Constabulary about concerns that Hazelwood was falsely selling locum insurance to doctors’ surgeries through his companies Synergys Research and Synergys Ethical.

Having sold the insurance, Hazelwood failed to pass the premiums to the insurance underwriters and pocketed the majority of the money.

Between January 2005 and May 2009, he obtained more than �1.2m from more than 250 surgeries, of which �208,000 was passed to underwriters. The investigation uncovered a third company known as @quote, which Hazelwood used in exactly the same way previously.

During the process of the investigation Hazelwood was found to be residing in the Far East and he was finally arrested when getting off a plane at Heathrow Airport in March 2010.

He was charged with two counts of fraudulent trading and struck off by the FSA. It took two days for the jury to reach a unanimous verdict on both counts.

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Dc Jim Frost, of the Economic Crime Unit, said: “This was a lengthy investigation, compounded by the fact that Hazelwood defrauded surgeries from throughout the UK and then fled the jurisdiction to Malaysia.

“Despite the fact that Hazelwood tried to convince the jury that he had not acted dishonestly, the evidence showed something very different. In fact, it seemed to suggest that his understanding of honesty was very different from an ordinary member of the public.

“The jury by their verdict clearly agreed with this and Judge Hawkesworth told him to expect a lengthy prison sentence.”

Hazelwood is due to be sentenced on November 4.

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