'Wadges of cash' Carlisle money launderer jailed

Mark McCracken Image copyright Cumbria Police
Image caption Mark McCracken's criminal schemes garnered him "huge amounts of money"

A career crook who hid "wadges of cash" has been jailed for money laundering.

Mark McCracken's criminal schemes garnered him "huge amounts of money", Carlisle Crown Court heard, which he hid by buying houses and stashing piles of cash.

McCracken, 51, who is already serving seven years for a "cash for crash" scam, has been jailed for a further 18 months.

His mother and sister both received suspended sentences for helping him.

McCracken, formerly of Castlesteads Drive, Carlisle, admitted 11 offences of money laundering and one count of perverting the course of justice - which was when he falsely told a confiscation hearing he had no property or assets.

The court heard he had bought a number of houses with cash and he also had bank accounts with false names.

Cumbria Police said he hid "great wadges of cash" in houses connected to him and his family.

His sister Melanie Wilson, 47, and their mother Linda McCracken, 69, both of Brindlefield, Wigton, admitted helping him hide criminal assets.

Image copyright Cumbria Police
Image caption Linda McCracken and Melanie Wilson received suspended prison sentences

Wilson was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment suspended for two years and must complete 80 hours unpaid work.

Linda McCracken was sentenced to nine months suspended for two years.

Cumbria Police said the sentences came after a five-year investigation.

Searches at homes led to the seizure of tens of thousands of pounds, documents, phones, paperwork relating to fraudulent insurance claims, bank cards and bank statements in the false names used by Mark McCracken.

Senior investigating officer Andy Hill said: "Mark McCracken has been a criminal for a long time.

"He hid his ill-gotten gains away and probably thought nobody could find a way through his tangled financial web."

Confiscation proceedings against all three have been started, Mr Hill added.

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