A woman has been sentenced after she lied about the extent of her injuries following a road traffic accident, in order to make a false insurance claim worth £12,500. Surveillance footage revealed she was exaggerating her injuries, showing her perform day-to-day tasks, despite claiming she was ‘virtually housebound’.
On Tuesday 9 June 2020, at Liverpool Crown Court, Marilyn Lento, 66, of Melrose Street, Salford, Manchester, was sentenced to eight months imprisonment, suspended for 18 months. She also received a 10 day rehabilitation order and was ordered to pay back £1,030 to the insurer. She had previously pleaded guilty on Tuesday 28 Aril 2020, following an investigation by the City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED).
Detective Sergeant Matt Hussey, from the City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department, said:
“Despite having several opportunities to come clean and clarify the true extent of her injuries, Lento persisted with her lies to try and steal thousands of pounds from her insurer.
“Thanks to the surveillance footage, and good work from the insurance company, Lento’s deceit was exposed and she has been brought to justice for her fraudulent actions.”
In October 2017, Lento made a claim with her insurers stating that she’d been hit by a car as a pedestrian. She claimed that the injuries had made her housebound, including severe problems with her legs, meaning she couldn’t walk any distance without the use of disability equipment, such as a leg brace and walking stick.
Additionally, she completed a ‘Permanent Disability Questionnaire’, in which she described her life as being ruined, said she couldn’t perform household tasks and needed to either do her food shopping online, or ask her family members to help.
Lento also informed her insurer that she had left her job soon after the accident and couldn’t continue to work.
However, there were inconsistencies with what Lento had told the insurer and the information they’d received from her GP and physiotherapy reports, leading them to investigate her claim further.
On the day surveillance was conducted, Lento was observed performing several different tasks, such as walking her dog, shopping at a supermarket and driving to another residential address, all without using walking aids or showing any discomfort.
After the surveillance, the insurer called Lento to discuss their findings. Before the insurer told her they’d carried out some lifestyle observations, she was given the opportunity to advise if her circumstances had changed. She said they hadn’t and still claimed she remained ‘virtually housebound’.
The observations were put to Lento and the fact that she had not declared any of this despite having ample opportunity to. She did not want to continue the call and asked for the rest of the call to be put in writing. At this point, the insurer told Lento that the claim would be discontinued and referred the matter onto IFED for investigation.