£15k insurance fraud conman with cannabis farm from Silver End jailed for 20 months

Cannabis farm at home of Kevin Turner

Cannabis farm at home of Kevin Turner - Credit: Archant

An electrician who conned his insurer out of £15,000 by repeatedly claiming his tools had been stolen has been jailed.

Kevin Turner, 30, of Silver End, Witham, jailed for growing cannabis and insurance fraud

Kevin Turner, 30, of Silver End, Witham, jailed for growing cannabis and insurance fraud - Credit: Archant

Kevin Turner, 30, admitted four counts of fraud by false representation as well as one charge of production of cannabis, and was sentenced yesterday at Basildon Crown Court.

Turner, of Silver End, near Witham, made four claims to Zurich between December 2012 and June 2013, each time saying entry had been forced to his van and his power tools stolen.

He received £5,000 for the first three claims, but suspicions were aroused when the made the fourth identical claim and Zurich realised he had provided the same photo each time showing the damaged van, and forged receipts for tools.

Zurich referred the matter to the City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED) in September 2013, and a search of his home by detectives revealed an outbuilding with a cannabis factory containing 53 mature plants yielding class B drugs with an estimated street value of £14,000.

A study of his bank accounts revealed Turner was living well beyond his means and using the money he stole from Zurich to cover his mounting debts.

Turner was sentenced to 20 months in prison, and IFED is now trying to recover Zurich’s lost money.

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Detective Constable Mark Reynolds, who ran the investigation, said: “Turner’s lavish lifestyle turned him into a drug producer and persistent insurance fraudster, which has seen him jailed as a convicted criminal.

“The reality now for fraudsters is that IFED and insurers are working together to bring to justice those who think they can make easy money at someone else’s expense.”

Scott Clayton, claims fraud and investigations manager, added: “This case demonstrates the criminal nature of insurance fraudsters, who are often involved in other crimes.

“Suspicious of the various claims made by Turner, we decided to investigate the matter and, as a result, discovered the cannabis plants he was growing on his property.

“We hope this case sends out a strong message that fraudulent claims will be investigated by insurers and we will always prosecute those involved.”