Two further members of the ‘cash for crash scam’ sent to prison

Two brothers from Cardiff have been sent to prison for four months each, after both of them were found guilty of four counts of contempt of court relating to false claims arising from a road traffic incident which happened in 2014.

Lee Cullen, 51, and Craig Cullen, 39, both from Meirion Place, Cardiff, were tried in their absence at Cardiff's High Court of Justice, as despite repetitive efforts to bring them to court, they played no part in the proceedings.

Following the court hearing which took place on January 10, 2020, his Honour Judge Harrison committed both Lee Cullen and Craig Cullen to an immediate prison sentence for four months and a warrant for their immediate arrest was issued.

Over the weekend both Lee Cullen and Craig Cullen were arrested and were brought before Cardiff's High Court for Justice on Monday January 27, where the sentences were upheld and they were taken to the cells.

A Cardiff Council spokesman said: "This case came to light when both Lee Cullen and Craig Cullen claimed to be a passenger in a Volkswagen transporter van when a council Ford Tipper drove into the back of the vehicle.

"At the time of the collision, the transporter van braked sharply to avoid concrete blocks which slid off the back of a flatbed lorry. The issue for both the Cullen brothers was that they were not actually in the transporter van at the time of the collision, as the only people in the vehicle were the driver and two relatives."

Acting on behalf of Cardiff Council's insurance company - Zurich Insurance - Horwich Farrelly Solicitors argued in court that it was proved to the criminal standard that the defendants committed an act which tended or intended to interfere with the course of justice More specifically, that the Cullen brothers instructed solicitors to make a claim which they knew to be false and both made false statements on Claim Notification Forms without an honest belief in their truth.

The spokesman continued: "This final sentencing now brings an end to this cash for crash scam. In this road traffic collision which took place on 6thMarch 2014, four people tried to fraudulently claim money for injuries which didn't occur and all of these people claimed to be in the transporter van when they were not in the vehicle. That in itself beggars belief.

"I am pleased to report that three of these people were sent to prison immediately and one escaped with a suspended sentence, as he actually bothered to come to court and provided mitigation to his case.

"I would like to re-iterate once again, that all insurance claims against the council are checked and double checked again and any inconsistencies are flagged up with our insurance company so they can be investigated with a view to prosecute those who are offending."

In total four people have been brought before the court for contempt of court relating to this cash for crash scam. Kevin Hooper, 48, from Clos Y Berllan, Cardiff, was sentenced for 8 months on June 24 2016. Michael Falkingham, 32, from Clos Y Berllan, Cardiff, was given a four month sentence which was suspended for 18 months on July 11, 2019, and Craig and Lee Cullen were given an immediate prison term for four months on January 27, 2020.