4th December 2015
A former Aviva employee who sold on customers’ details to a claims management firm has been sentenced.
Matthew Cooper, 28, was handed a 10 month suspended sentence and ordered to undertake 180 hours of unpaid work after sentencing at Manchester Crown Court.
Cooper, of Manchester, had previously pleaded guilty to fraud by false misrepresentation for his part in selling on customers’ insurance details.
Cooper and Oliver Simpson, 32 and also from Manchester, pleaded guilty to offences under the Data Protect Act. Simpson was fined £3,000 and ordered to pay court costs of £1,000.
The pair had made £20,000 stealing Aviva data and selling it on. Cooper, a claims handler in the bodily injury team, passes customer accident data to Simpson who then sold it to a claims management firm, which was unaware the details were stolen.
The pair were caught out after Aviva analysed its claims handlers’ cases and the number of claims being submitted by solicitors at the claims management firm. The City of London police then investigated the case and Aviva has contacted all customers affected.
Andrew Morrish, claims operations director at Aviva, told financial trade magazine New Model Adviser : ‘We are pleased the two individuals have been brought to justice but it is not for Aviva to comment on whether the sentences handed to the pair are sufficient deterrent for a crime that causes so much upset.
‘Stealing accident data in order to reap obscene profits for personal injury claims highlights the dysfunctional way the current claims system operates.
‘Aviva has a zero-tolerance attitude towards data theft, and we will work tirelessly with the police and others to bring to justice those that commit a crime by stealing our customers’ data.’