A Truganina man has been sentenced to two years and four months jail for staging car crashes in Laverton and other suburbs for insurance money.
Kobe Lauren, 36, pleaded guilty in the County Court to charges including obtaining financial advantage by deception, making a false report to police and committing an indictable offence on bail.
His modus operandi was to buy a luxury car, insure it for far more than market value, and then stage collisions for the pay out.
The court heard that in March 2012, Lauren bought a 2006 Mercedes and insured it with Allianz for an agreed value of $51,838, which was $15,000-$25,000 over the car’s market value. He concocted a fictitious crash with a co-offender pretending to be the other driver and was paid out $51,288.
A year later, Lauren’s partner bought a Lexus and it was insured with Real Insurance.
In November 2013, Lauren reported that the Lexus had been involved in a collision and that he had been the other driver. That claim was rejected.
In May 2014, Lauren reported a supposed collision in Laverton in which a BMW bought by a co-offender was written off.
It had been insured with AAMI for an agreed value of $70,460, which was between 30,000 and $40,000 over market value. Lauren received about $70,000.
In January 2015, Lauren bought a 2008 Mercedes for $60,000, which he insured online with AAMI for an agreed value of $115,848, almost double its purchase price, before staging a collision.
The court heard Lauren had been a talented basketballer and lived in the US for about 18 months trying to secure a college basketball scholarship after leaving Maribyrnong College.
He started studying business administration at Swinburne TAFE when he returned home, but left the course to buy a taxi licence and start his own business, which he had until 2013.
Judge Claire Quin told the court Lauren’s motivation for offending was debt-related.
“I was informed that you received some, though not the total amount of financial gain, and that funds you obtained were spent for your own personal purposes.”
She sentenced Lauren to 28 months imprisonment with a non-parole period of 17 months.