PI insurance fraudster steals £90k, jailed for three years

One professional liability insurance fraudster, after being caught red-handed in the theft of £90,000 from several of his clients, have been sentenced to a three year jail term recently.

47 year old Clive Hesketh was found to have been issuing false business liability insurance policies to law firms in Bury and Bolton.  He was recently jailed at Bolton Crown Court after entering a plea of guilty to 11 counts of falsely representing himself between the dates of January 2010 and October 2010.

The Tottington native, of Sunny Bower Street, had been a self-employed insurance broker with both a good reputation and personal recommendations between firms.  Trading in Bury as Pinnacle Insurance Services, he sold professional indemnity insurance policies to nine local Bury law firms and one solicitor firm located in Wolverhampton, and also sold employers liability insurance to an Ashton-Under-Lyne, Manchester social club.

Prosecutors for his case remarked that a significant proportion of his business was gained through personal recommendations, as he had gained the trust of those he had been working with.  However, the cash was never paid to the insurance providers, which resulted in the cover never being put in place.

Setting up monthly credit agreements, Mr Hesketh falsified certificates and pocketed the cash in order to pay off debts accrued by his own broking firm.  Mr Hesketh claimed his business debts were a result of the worldwide economic recession.

Mr Hesketh’s crimes were not discovered until June of 2011, when one of the solicitor firms contacted the insurer directly to request certain documents.  To the firm’s surprise, they were informed that no such policy existed.

As it is a requirement of all solicitor firms to have professional indemnity insurance in order to protect against clients who make claims against them, said the Solicitors Regulatory Authority, the SRA conducted an investigation, discovering the other law firms that had been victimised by Mr Hesketh, who was then promptly apprehended by police.

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