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CMC boss banned for encouraging bogus holiday sickness cases

Holiday sickness claims: Company misled people it called

The boss of a claims management company (CMC) that encouraged people to bring bogus holiday sickness cases has been disqualified as a director for five years.

Nigel David Stirk, 45, from Preston and now living in Tenerife, was director of Allsure Ltd trading as Chase Alexander, a CMC that also handled road traffic accident claims.

An audit carried out by the now-defunct Claims Management Regulator found that, when the company’s sales agents called people to ask if they had fallen ill while on holiday, they made false or unsubstantiated claims, coached individuals or made misleading statements in every call.

Allsure falsely told people who did not meet the claims criteria that they were nonetheless 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 that the script it used encouraged clients to make claims which could have been false, potentially putting them at risk of prosecution and the solicitors who took on the claims in breach of their code of conduct.

As a result, Allsure’s authorisation as a CMC was cancelled in August 2017 and the company entered liquidation, owing more than £130,000.

A subsequent Insolvency Service investigation into Mr 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.

Part way through his disqualification trial last month, Mr Stirk admitted this and offered an undertaking not to become involved in any way in the promotion, formation or management of a company without the permission of the court.

The five-year ban started on 7 July.

Neil North, chief investigator at the Insolvency Service, said: “We have strong enforcement powers and we will use them to remove dishonest or reckless directors such as Nigel Stirk from the corporate arena.”