Crawford & Company is delighted to announce its success at this year’s Spanish Insurance Association awards, taking first prize for its anti-fraud services.
The Company received the “Loss Adjuster of the Year 2013” award in the category of Fraud Detection at the ICEA (Investigación Cooperativa entre Entidades Aseguradoras y Fondos de Pensiones) awards after uncovering a significant collusive deception that would have cost the insurer hundreds of thousands of euros in fraudulent claims.
Crawford’s investigation resulted from a theft of computer components valued at approximately €600,000 ($830,000). Judges commended Crawford for carrying out a detailed forensic examination despite obstructions from the claimant, and eventually revealing how the fraudsters—in collusion with various other parties—had created false invoices and made a number of suspicious purchases immediately prior to reporting a theft.
“From the beginning it was an abnormal and unpleasant claim to manage,” says Jesús García Fernández, senior general adjuster, Crawford Global Technical Services®, España. “It was problematic to perform a physical inventory of the store after the robbery, the manager was always accompanied by his lawyer and no normal communication was possible. With this type of behavior, it was never going to be easy, but our teams at the Crawford Barcelona office deserve great credit for their diligence and attention to detail.”
Following the VAT crumbs
The ICEA judges also recognized Crawford’s work relating to an analysis of tax documents. “From the monthly inventories we calculated from VAT statements against purchases and sales invoices, it was discovered that we had a very important VAT mismatch just for the month prior to the robbery,” adds Jesús.
As it turned out, Crawford’s anti-fraud experts had lifted the lid on an organisation that was part of a much larger VAT-fraud ring. “After closing the case Spanish press and TV reported police intervention into about 30 companies in the computer components sector, all of whom were under investigation for VAT fraud by false invoices. It was no surprise to see the insured was on that list.”
Mark Harman, chief executive officer, Continental Europe, Middle East and Africa, Crawford adds: “This is a fantastic award and richly deserved. This type of forensic analysis is at the core of our anti-fraud service and the teams involved in repudiating this bogus claim should be very proud of their efforts against what is a highly sophisticated criminal enterprise.”