A couple who were convicted of mortgage fraud after Scotland’s longest criminal trial have been ordered to pay back the profits of their crimes.
Edwin McLaren, 56, conned dozens of people in financial difficulty between 2008 and 2014.
He enlisted a number of associates to act as purchasers; arranging the mortgages and convincing his victims to sign documents unknowingly transferring their homes over to these associates.
However, the proceeds from the sales were paid or transferred into bank accounts controlled by McLaren and were used to fund both further frauds and McLaren’s lavish lifestyle. This included leasing a Bentley Continental and paying the mortgage on the £750,000 family home in Bridge of Weir.
McLaren’s wife, Lorraine McLaren, 56, was convicted of two charges including one of mortgage fraud.
On Friday, they were both made subject of Confiscation Orders at the High Court in Edinburgh.
The orders show Edwin McLaren benefited from criminal conduct by £1,722, 366.64 and an order has been made for £4000. Lorraine McLaren benefited by £694,950 and an order has been made for £4,213.38.
These are based on assets currently available. The Crown has the power to extend the order to seize money and assets the McLaren’s acquire in the future to pay back the full amount they made from their crimes.
Jennifer Harrower, Procurator Fiscal for Serious Casework, said: “Edwin McLaren carried out a series of calculated deceptions for years, remorselessly conning people who were struggling financially.
“His actions were conducted in such a covert way that it took investigators a considerable amount of time to unpick the chain of events before securing a conviction.
“Even after that conviction was secured, the Crown pursued Proceeds of Crime action to ensure the funds Edwin McLaren obtained illegally are confiscated.”