34 fraudsters sentenced in £650,000 Crash for Cash scam


34 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 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.”

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 34 people to justice. I would also like to thank the CPS and the IFB for their assistance and support during the investigation.”