Imprisoned underwriter ordered to pay Axa XL £6.5m

A pair of hands resting on prison bars

A disgraced, imprisoned underwriter, who funnelled millions of pounds out of contracts with Axa XL has been ordered to pay £6.5m back to the insurer.

Paul Alan Corcoran, the sole director and shareholder of the now defunct Ipors Underwriting, had a contract with XL Insurance, now Axa XL, where his company would collect premiums from insureds, declare those premiums received, and relay them back to XL.

It has been concluded that Corcoran had no intention of paying those premiums back to XL, and instead funnelled more than £10m into his own personal bank accounts from his company accounts, in order to avoid having to pay it back.

Although XL initially sued Corcoran and his two companies, Ipors and Cheshire Prestige Cars, for more than £4m, the claim increased to £10m based on evidence produced throughout the process.

When contested and the case went to trial back in 2017, Corcoran decided against engaging with the court, only to submit a short defence.

Contempt of court and fleeing

In May 2021, Corcoran was sentenced to a maximum of two years in prison for contempt of court, but as he had not attended the court hearing, a warrant was issued for his arrest.

But it appeared that Corcoran had fled the country, believed to be in hiding in Portugal, according to the hearing on Friday 5 August 2022.

He has since been arrested at Bournemouth Airport, and is now incarcerated in HMP Winchester, serving his two-year sentence.

David Edwards QC, sitting as a judge of London’s High Court said: “It seems to be consistent with his practice over five years that he has decided not to engage and not to appear. The fact he is now in prison at Winchester does not preclude him from attending.”

As of now, the money is still believed to be held in Corcoran’s accounts for Cheshire Prestige Cars, and Judge Edwards extended an injunction on Corcoran, forbidding him access to his assets. He felt this right because the end of the injunction might allow Corcoran, or any of his allies, to access the funds that need to be paid back.

Axa XL declined to comment, stating that it does not comment on court decisions.

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