Fraud involved claims for collisions that occurred as far back as 2009

Fraud motor

Nine people in a cash for crash scam worth more than £650,000 have been jailed, with the ringleader sentenced to nine years.

Eight other people were jailed for between 36 weeks and two years for fraud and money laundering. A further 22 people were handed suspended jail terms.

The large-scale fraud 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.

The scam was orchestrated by 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.

The sentencing today at Carlisle Crown Court, was the result of Operation Atrium, an investigation into money laundering and fraud by false representation, which involved the Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) and Cumbria Police.

IFB director Ben Fletcher said: “The sentences handed down today demonstrate the industry’s zero tolerance policy on insurance fraud. Whilst we know that fraudsters are moving into other products lines, we must remember that there is still a £336m cost associated to crash for cash.

“We know that as we clampdown on fraud within the motor industry, fraud simply emerges in other product lines.

“At the IFB we are committed to working with insurers and law enforcement agencies to uncover cross-industry motor insurance fraud, whilst also delivering our ‘2020 vision’ which sees us tackling fraud in other products lines, such as property and liability, from 2017.”