A CRIMINAL jailed for masterminding a £600,000 Cumbrian insurance fraud has now admitted a string of money laundering offences.
Career crook Mark McCracken, 50, received a seven-year jail term in November, 2016, for orchestrating a huge scam dubbed “cash for crash”. McCracken – formerly of Wigton and latterly of Carlisle – hid behind multiple fake identities as he organised fantasy car crashes to justify bogus claims.
Four Carlisle vehicle dealers and garage owners were among 34 associates drawn into the massive fiddle, which was picked apart during a painstaking multi-agency investigation. Those 34 were also sentenced at Carlisle Crown Court for their respective criminal roles. A judge heard of insurance claims being made for injuries and damaged cars that were involved in staged crashes at Cumbrian accident black spots.
Serving prisoner McCracken was back at the crown court this week. He pleaded guilty to nine money laundering offences having previously admitted several others. The charges state that he concealed, disguised, converted, transferred or removed the proceeds of early criminal activity – said to include the “cash for crash” fraud. These charges cover a period between October, 1997, and October, 2015.
McCracken is said to have laundered money by purchasing houses in false names; earned rent from these addresses; and stashed tens of thousands of pounds’ cash in two different Wigton properties.
He will be sentenced on a future date along with two family members. His mother, Linda McCracken, aged 69, and 47-year-old sister Melanie Wilson, of separate addresses at Brindlefield, Wigton, have each admitted helping him to hide his criminal assets.