The driver of a Toyota MR2 modified to look like a Ferrari has been jailed after crashing it into his mate’s hire car and lying to the insurance company.

Adam Islam, of Southwold Drive, Barking, Essex, told insurers that his fake Ferrari had broken down when it was hit by an Audi A1 hire car, driven by Abu Khayer. But the two drivers - who are friends - were reportedly driving recklessly when they collided, and decided to lie to their insurance companies before splitting a payout between them.

Commercial law firm Hill-Dickinson’s fraud detection system flagged the claim as suspicious after and experts Asset Protection Unit (APU) were called in to investigate. Its team of ex-police officers soon discovered pictures of the two friends together on social media, and found that Islam had recently failed to sell the Toyota online for £30,000.

Fake Ferrari crash

Unusually for an insurance fraud case like this, the case went to court without police involvement - and Islam was sentenced to 18 months for making the bogus claim. His accomplice, Khayer, was given a 12 month sentence suspended for two years, and was ordered to compensate Accident Exchange, his hire company, and its insurer, more than £10,000 in total.

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“Almost immediately after the crash, you [Islam and Khayer] both launched into a sophisticated fraud,” said judge HHJ Dawson. “This is not a victimless crime; we all end up paying more for car insurance. It also undermines the trust from insurance companies in the public, which causes delay in genuine payments. More fraud makes it more difficult for honest people to be paid.”

The case comes after police in Spain raided a factory that was turning Toyota MR2s into fake Ferraris and selling them for around £35,000 each.

Source: APU, Accident Exchange, Hill Dickinson