Car crash fraudster ordered to pay up

A MEMBER of a gang who organised car crashes to make false insurance claims totalling thousands of pounds must pay back his ill-gotten gains.

Stuart Mackie, 37, of Ingram Way, Wingate, was ordered to pay back £20,589.69 when he appeared at a Proceeds of Crime Act hearing at Teesside Crown Court.

Mackie was part of a gang which staged a crash in Peterlee in December 2009 and made personal injury claims totalling £16,800.

He also made false insurance claims with two others when a car crashed into a woman’s vehicle in Manor Way, Peterlee, the year before, totalling £9,645.

Mackie admitted two counts of conspiracy to commit fraud, and four counts of fraud by “clocking” cars to make their mileages appear lower to try to sell them on and was given nine months in prison, suspended for two years and 150-hours unpaid work in May.

Inspector Dave Coxon, of Peterlee Police, said: “We are very happy with the results. It sends a positive message to the community that crime does not pay.

“Even once a criminal has been convicted at court, specialist teams within headquarters work to ensure money obtained through criminal activity is recovered.”

Mackie and six others from across East Durham were sentenced to a total of 35 months in prison, suspended for two years in May.