Prison sentence for ‘cash for crash’ mastermind from Stotfold whose schemes conned insurance companies out of £120,000

Stotfold man Mario Panico, 58, has been jailed for two years for his part in the schemes.

Stotfold man Mario Panico, 58, has been jailed for two years for his part in the schemes. - Credit: Archant

The ringleader of a group that conned insurance firms out of more than £120,000 with ‘cash for crash’ schemes has been jailed, and his accomplices must carry out more than 1,700 hours of unpaid work.

Stotfold man Mario Panico, 58, has been sentenced to two years behind bars, while 43-year-old Rajesh Kurmi of Letchworth has been given 18 months, suspended for two years, along with a four-month curfew and 275 hours’ unpaid work.

The other six members of the group – five men and a woman, from Baldock, Stevenage and Hitchin – were sentenced in March.

The court heard how they gave differing accounts for the alleged accidents – which had either been deliberately caused or not taken place at all – and how a garage used for repairs was owned by one of those making claims.

Ben Fletcher of the Insurance Fraud Bureau said: “This sends a clear message to would-be fraudsters that they face serious consequences such as heavy fines, a criminal record and imprisonment.


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“We estimate that the ‘crash for cash’ insurance fraud phenomenon costs the honest policyholder almost £350 million each year.”

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