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Couple Convicted after Long Running Fraud Trial

A criminal trial that began back in September 2015 has finally concluded with guilty verdicts for a married couple from Renfrewshire, reports the BBC.

Edwin McLaren has been convicted of 29 charges relating to property fraud and money laundering. His wife Lorraine was convicted of two charges. She has been released on bail pending sentencing, which has been deferred, but her husband has been remanded in custody.

The case, which has been described as the longest criminal trial to ever take place in the UK, involved 320 days of evidence, and is estimated to have cost around £7.5 million.

Speaking after the trial, Detective Superintendent Andy Lawson explained that the case involved a series of scams including a 'sell and rent back' con, which involved duping vulnerable victims in financial difficulty to sign over their homes and then tricking them into transferring the proceeds of sale into an account controlled by Edwin McLaren.

“The result of today’s lengthy court proceedings follows an extremely complex inquiry that is probably one of the largest, most complicated property fraud investigations ever carried out in Scotland,” commented Detective Superintendent Lawson.

“A team of officers has investigated cases involving a number of victims the length and breadth of the country, who have been left completely distraught, some penniless and homeless, who have been disadvantaged financially and all at the hands of the McLarens,” he added.

“For over four years, detectives have worked tirelessly to unpick the network of banking transfers and legal documentation for 24 properties as part of this £1.7 million fraudulent conspiracy spanning a six-year period,” he said.

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