Chester Crown Court, image Google StreetviewChester Crown Court, image Google Streetview


Serial fraudster jailed after conning three used car dealers in sophisticated credit card scam

  • Mother of three Charmaine McAllister bought cars from one dealer on credit card
  • She then took those used cars to other dealers and sold them for cash
  • Judge calls her ‘most despicable’ woman he has ever seen as she’s locked up again

Time 7:49 am, December 24, 2023

A mother-of-three serial fraudster has been jailed after using stolen credit cards to buy used cars from a series of dealerships.

Charmaine McAllister, 37, has notched up a staggering 220 offences during a 21-year criminal career, but was caught out when she bought used cars from dealers on credit cards and converted them into cash at others.

The law caught up with the con artist after she duped three car dealerships into selling her vehicles in a series of scams.

In October last year, McAllister conned innocent people into giving out their credit card details by pretending to be an advertising salesperson from Horse and Hound magazine.

She then used those details to buy a £6,500 Hyundai from the forecourt of a used car dealership in Warrington. 

McAllister quickly converted that car into cash by trading it on to another unsuspecting car dealer in Chorley, Lancs, for £4,000.

She used the same scam again shortly afterwards to buy a BMW for nearly £3k from another used car dealer in Ellesmere Port.

While collecting that car from the dealership she even stole another credit card from a member of staff.

She sold the BMW on to a private buyer for just £500, making up a story about being in the Army and having to sell it as she was leaving the country for a tour.

Subscribe to the Car Dealer weekly briefing

She used the credit card stolen from the car dealership to pay for shopping at a supermarket, a stay in a hotel and buy items online.

McAllister also used a stolen credit card to buy a BMW 1 Series from a dealership in Crewe for just under £5k before selling it on to a Deeside used car dealer for £2,500.

Her criminal work was uncovered, said Laura Knightly prosecuting, when some of those people who had bought cars from her were stopped by police. 

McAllister was identified by security camera footage from the car dealerships. Most of the victims were refunded by their banks.

McAllister was said to have defrauded dozens of people out of more than £100,000. She was on bail for other frauds at the time of the offences and has been to prison at least 16 times.

At Chester Crown Court, she was jailed for 15 months after admitting 10 offences of fraud and one of theft. The jail term will be added to a 40-month sentence she is currently serving in Peterborough.

Sentencing McAllister, Judge Steven Everett, said her record was ‘as bad’ as he had seen and that she was ‘without doubt the most dishonest woman’ he had ever come across.

The Daily Mail reported he said: ‘I have been around for quite a long time now but I do not remember any person male or female, who has committed so many frauds. 

‘This is a truly tangled web and totally brazen dishonesty. You are a sophisticated fraudster to be sure, a fraudster without any morals whatsoever, without any regret about what you do. 

‘You are one of the most morally bankrupt persons I have ever come across.’

The Judge said McAllister had ‘lied to the courts’ about what she planned to do and said she was ‘a truly despicable person’. 

Main image: Chester Crown Court, Google Streetview

James Baggott's avatar

James is the founder and editor-in-chief of Car Dealer Magazine, and CEO of parent company Baize Group. James has been a motoring journalist for more than 20 years writing about cars and the car industry.

More stories...

MFL Advert
Server 108