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Crash for cash scam worth over £650,000 concludes with 34 fraudsters sentenced

18 November 2016

  • 35 fraudsters sentenced for their involvement in large-scale crash for cash scam
  • Fake insurance claims made by fraudsters impacted 23 different insurers

A large-scale crash for cash investigation between the Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) and Cumbria Police, has today (Friday 18 November) come to its conclusion with 34 insurance fraudsters sentenced for their part in the scam.

The sentencing at Carlisle Crown Court, is a result of Operation Atrium, an investigation into money laundering and fraud by false representation. The evidence in this investigation involved multiple fraudulent insurance claims for a total of 27 bogus road traffic collisions that occurred in the Cumbria area since 2009.

Claims were made against other driver’s insurance using false identities. In total 23 different insurers were impacted by the fraud, with claims made for personal injury, vehicle damage, recovery storage and hire car costs, valued at over £650,000.  

The scam was orchestrated by Mr Mark McCracken who collaborated with local garage owners and car dealers to obtain MOT certificates for cars bought under false identities, as well as MOT certificates with heavily-reduced mileages. Police found identity packs at McCracken’s family address which contained fake driving licences, bank books in false names and memory aids on post-it notes for each invented person.

Ben Fletcher, Director of the Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB), said:

 “The sentences handed down today send a clear message that prosecution is a very real consequence for people committing insurance fraud. In this case the fraudsters, driven by greed, used extreme methods such as manipulating a vehicle’s mileage in an attempt to exploit the industry, and ultimately honest premium-paying motorists. At the IFB we are committed to working with law enforcement agencies, such as Cumbria Police, to take the fight to the fraudster and we urge the public to also fight back by reporting what they know to the IFB’s Cheatline.”

Temporary Detective Chief Inspector Dave Stalker, of Cumbria Constabulary’s Serious and Organised Crime Unit, said: “I’d like to thank the detectives that have spent a great number of hours in order to bring these 35 people to justice. I would also like to thank the CPS and the IFB for their assistance and support during the investigation.”

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