Director banned for fraudulent holiday sickness claims

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Nigel David Stirk, 45, from Preston and now living in Tenerife, has been handed a five-year ban as a company director after his firm cold called clients and used false information to persuade them to make a claim.

Stirk was director of Allsure Ltd, trading as Chase Alexander, which was a personal injury claims management firm for road traffic accident and holiday sickness claims.

The company called the public from offices in Liverpool and Preston to sell their claims management service, asking if people had been ill during their holidays and offering to make claims for compensation through its solicitors.

However, an audit carried out by the Claims Management Regulator found the sales agents had made false or unsubstantiated claims, coached individuals or made misleading statements in every call. The script provided to staff also contained misleading statements.

Those who received calls did not meet the claim criteria, but Allsure falsely told them they were owed a refund and that hotels had failed hygiene checks, saying 98% of people they had spoken to were sick due to hotel food.

The Regulator told Allsure the script encouraged clients to make claims which could have been false.

It was found that false claims could have been made as a result, with solicitors who took on referred claims potentially being in breach of their own regulations. The conduct was serious enough to cancel Allsure’s authorisation to provide regulated claims management services.

The cancellation came into effect from August 22, 2017, and the company entered liquidation, owing more than £130,000.

The subsequent Insolvency Service investigation into Nigel Stirk’s conduct found he had not ensured the company was compliant with the rules and had failed to check the company met its statutory obligations.

The Insolvency Service issued proceedings to disqualify Stirk as a company director and on June 16, 2021, part way through Stirk’s disqualification trial, the Secretary of State accepted an undertaking from the director after he admitted failing to ensure that the company complied with its statutory obligation.

Stirk’s ban started on July 7, 2021, and lasts for five years, during which time he cannot, directly or indirectly, become involved, without the permission of the court, in the promotion, formation or management of a company.

Neil North, chief investigator at the Insolvency Service, said: “As director of Allsure Ltd, Nigel Stirk caused the company to breach regulations by allowing staff to make false or unsubstantiated claims to prospective claimants and use call scripts that were misleading.

“This resulted in false or potentially fraudulent claims being referred to solicitors, risking a criminal prosecution for clients and solicitors.”

He added: “We have strong enforcement powers and we will use them to remove dishonest or reckless directors such as Nigel Stirk from the corporate arena.”