A Luton woman has been sentenced after she made fraudulent claims on her employer’s income protection insurance policy, claiming she was unable to work when in fact she was working as a call centre operative elsewhere.
The fraud was investigated by detectives from the City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED) after an anonymous letter was sent to her employer, tipping them off about the scam.
Balbinder Mahil, 45, of Beech Wood Road, Luton was sentenced to eight months’ imprisonment (suspended for two years), ordered to carry out 120hrs of unpaid work and ordered to pay just over £6,000 in compensation, costs and victim surcharges.
In July 2013, Mahil was due to return from maternity leave to her job working for a credit card company. However, she never went back, stating that she was unfit to work due to stress and provided various doctors notes to support this claim.
Mahil subsequently received payments through her employer’s income protection insurance policy, which was provided by insurance company Unum. Payments between July 2013 and May 2015 - when her contract was finally terminated - totalled £13,171.
An anonymous letter was sent to her employer stating that Mahil had been employed as a call centre operative for a healthcare company since August 2014 – at a time she was still receiving income protection payments for supposedly being unfit to work.
The case was referred to IFED detectives and after further enquiries they found that Mahil received around £6,000 of payments under the income protection scheme, whilst working at the call centre.
She was charged in May 2016 with fraud by false representation and subsequently pleaded guilty to the offence.
Detective Constable Jamie Kirk from the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department said: “Mahil knew that she was being dishonest and she should have told her employer she was able to work again. There is a perception that this sort of thing is acceptable but our message is that not only is it dishonest, it is also illegal and you could end up with a criminal record.”