Monday, 17 June 2013

Business Guru Admits Insurance Scam

The CEO of the Miss Nubian Foundation - a community interest company that promotes black entrepreneurship - has been convicted of a £7,800 insurance scam.

Jacqueline Wabara, 43, the former Miss Nigeria Europe beauty queen and boss of Wabara Public Relations lied in an effort to swindle a new engine for her Land Rover Freelander.

She portrayed herself at Wood Green Crown Court as depressed, jobless and penniless, but has been busy promoting what she describes as an "extravaganza" at the Hilton Hotel, Paddington in October when 2013's Miss Nubian Pageant winner will be crowned.

However, she was sentenced to a night-time curfew and must be at home during the event she is the figurehead and spokesperson for and is a highlight on the black social calendar.

University of Wolverhampton graduate Wabara, of Swaythling Close, Upper Edmonton pleaded guilty to fraud, by false representation, in relation to a claim on a Zurich insurance policy on November 12, 2010.

"I take a serious view of this," announced Recorder Robert Rhodes QC. "This was a deliberate fraudulent claim on an insurance company for several thousand pounds and lies were maintained to the last minute.

"Not only did she tell a pack of lies to the police she maintained it in her defence case statement." 

Prosecutor Miss Dianne Chan told the court: "A claim was made that on November the eleventh there had been some criminal damage to her Freelander when a firework had got into the engine and caused it to fail."

The reality was a Green Flag recovery had been called out on November 6 and transported the broken-down vehicle to Wabara's address and two days later it was taken to a repair garage, where it remained for ten days.

It was not even outside the defendant's home when she claimed it had been damaged and the insurer's own engineers inspected the vehicle on November 18.

"It had severe mechanical damage, the oil had completely run out and the piston rods had caused a hole," explained Miss Chan.

"The insurance policy excluded mechanical damage, but the vehicle needed a new engine.

"The defendant said she had last driven it home from a friend's address, parked it outside, and woke up the next day and found fire damage.

"There was no mention to the insurers that it had already broken down."

The court heard Wabara, who has previous convictions - including shoplifting - has health and financial problems and is unable to work.

Her lawyer told the court Wabara is "embarrassed" about the offence and "suffers from depression."

She was described as a "community mentor" helping members of the community find employment.

"This was a deliberate, dishonest attempt to get nearly eight thousand pounds from an insurance company," Recorder Rhodes told Wabara, who the probation service deemed unsuitable for any unpaid community service work.

"You have got no money at all and I make no order for compensation or costs," he added sentencing her to an untagged nine-month curfew, which must be complied with between 8pm and 6am daily.

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