A man who fraudulently claimed £35,000 in delay repay compensation from Greater Anglia in just two weeks has been given an eight-month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months.
Michael Parker, 24, of Godstow Road, Greenwich, London, claimed delay repay compensation multiple times using the same ticket during a period of disruption on the Greater Anglia network in December 2019.
Fraud investigators at Greater Anglia uncovered the scam when they were analysing delay repay claims during the pandemic and found that Parker had used multiple aliases when making the claims.
The British Transport Police investigated the case, leading to prosecution.
Parker pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit fraud at Inner London Crown Court, sitting at the Royal Courts of Justice.
He was given an eight-month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, a 25-day community order and 50 hours unpaid work.
Kim Bucknell, head of revenue protection at Greater Anglia, said: “We want customers who genuinely are delayed if their journey is disrupted to claim delay repay compensation, but we will not tolerate people who abuse the system.
“In the last two years we have recovered £500,000 from people who have fraudulently claimed delay repay.
“During the pandemic, when we had fewer customers, we analysed claims from the whole of 2019 and early 2020 and pursued everyone who had put in a false claim.
“Since then we have also tightened up our delay replay compensation process to make it more difficult for people trying to make fraudulent claims and have rejected tens of thousands of pounds of false claims.
“Claiming fraudulently is the same as stealing from Greater Anglia – and it leaves the company with less money for investment which could result in fares going up for everyone.”