A COUPLE have been jailed for more than two years after a staged burglary led to an insurance payment of £120,000.

Graham Mundy, 52, of Old Blandford Road, Salisbury, and Joanna Beames, 34, of the same address, have been jailed for 26 months each after pleading guilty to fraud by false representation and perverting the course of justice at Salisbury Crown Court in December.

In February 2019, police received a call from Mundy to report a high value burglary of his property at Caddens, Homington, where it was alleged that property including watches, jewellery and laptops worth in excess of £120,000 had been stolen.

Mundy’s insurance company (Chubb) paid a settlement of £121,248.31 to Mundy in March 2019.

But an investigation into the burglary showed that Beames had already made an insurance claim for one of the diamond rings the year before.

An examination of the photos of the rings and the certificates showed that they had been taken after it was alleged to have been lost.

As a result, a warrant was executed at the address in Homington in August 2019 where most of the property that was alleged to have been stolen during the burglary was found and seized.

Financial records show that Beames, who works in the insurance industry, was given £30,000 of the settlement and Mundy used the rest of the cash in his business.

'Serious case of insurance fraud'

Det Con Ben Brewster said: “This is a serious case of insurance fraud and brings to the end a lengthy investigation.

“This may be perceived as a victimless crime and the desperate actions of two people in financial difficulty but it is a very serious offence and incidents like this cost the insurance industry millions of pounds every year, not to mention the wasting of police time to investigate what was believed to be a significant burglary, time that could have been better spent elsewhere in our community.

“I hope today’s sentence will act as a strong deterrent to those who contemplate this as a legitimate option to get themselves out of financial difficulty. There are always better options than turning to crime and charities on hand to provide the right support.”

A spokesperson for Chubb said: “Chubb works closely with law enforcement to apprehend and prosecute those who commit insurance fraud.

“Together, we can protect innocent customers from the impact of fraudulent claims.”

If you are struggling with debt or money issues, you can seek help by contacting Citizen’s Advice, a charity that offers confidential advice to help you find a way forward either online, over the phone, or in person, for free.

For more information, click here or call 0800 240 4420.

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