Two arrested as part of investigation into bogus personal injury claim
Man used wheelchair when attending appointments about claim but did not need one in day to day life
On Thursday members of the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau arrested two suspects for conspiracy to defraud the Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland (MIBI), which compensates victims of uninsured and untraced drivers. File photograph: Stephen Collins/Collins Photos
Gardaí carrying out a criminal investigation into a bogus personal injury claim are seeking to charge the failed claimant with swearing false affidavit evidence with a view to prosecuting others in the same way for making bogus claims.
The man at the centre of the claim, who was arrested in north Co Dublin on Thursday, used a wheelchair when attending appointments related to his personal injury claim. However, when he was secretly filmed in his day to day life he did not need the wheelchair and was also able to lift the chair in and out of the boot of his car.
Gardaí now believe the video evidence is so strong it could be used to bring a prosecution for swearing a false affidavit. The crime is punishable on conviction by up to 10 years imprisonment and with a fine of up to €100,000.
Senior officers believe if the State began prosecuting those swearing false evidence as part of bogus personal injury claims it would act as a clear deterrent to others. Garda sources were only aware of one such prosecution since providing false evidence in a personal injury claim became a specific offence under the Civil Liability and Courts Act 2004.
The programme for Government promised “fraudulent claims” would be “forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecutions” and that it would be made easier to prosecute fraudsters for giving false evidence.
On Thursday members of the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau arrested two suspects for conspiracy to defraud the Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland (MIBI), which compensates victims of uninsured and untraced drivers.
Their arrests arose from the bogus insurance claim made by the man secretly filmed by the MIBI lifting a wheelchair in and out of his car despite claiming serious injury from a crash involving a supposed uninsured and untraceable driver.
The suspects, a married couple in their early 40s, were arrested at their home and taken to Ballymun Garda station where they were detained under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act.
The DPP has proven reluctant to pursue criminal charges against suspects for swearing false affidavits in failed person injury claims despite gardaí repeatedly recommending such charges.
At Dublin Circuit Court last month in a separate case Judge Jacqueline Linnane dismissed a personal injury claim, for spinal injuries during a minor car crash, after the court heard the complainant had “lied though his teeth” and swore false evidence.
Judge Linnane suggested the case may be referred to the criminal justice system though she saw “little point” sending the matter to the DPP because “none of these referrals are pursued”, though she acknowledged the DPP was busy.