Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Net closes on conwoman who boasts 40 aliases wanted by FBI, PSNI and Gardai

By Deborah McAleese

Published 14/04/2015

Julia Holmes was deported from the US
Julia Holmes was deported from the US

She has 40 different aliases and is wanted by the FBI, PSNI and An Garda Siochana.

For four years she has been on the run after fleeing Northern Ireland to escape another jail term for fraud.

But the net appears to be closing in on conwoman Julia Holmes, who has defrauded victims across Ireland and America out of hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Holmes disappeared from her home in Ballynahinch, Co Down, in January 2011. A warrant was issued for her arrest when she failed to turn up to court in Newtownards to be sentenced for frauds totalling £18,000.

The 63-year-old has more than 20 convictions for fraud, including swindling businesses in Tyrone and Antrim.

She was also deported from Texas in the US - where she lived under the name Victoria Parrish - back to Northern Ireland in 2006 after she and her then husband were arrested in connection with a $500,000 property scam.

Despite police failing to locate the grandmother, it has since emerged that she has been freely living in the Republic of Ireland under the name Croen Ruttle with her 'husband' Tom Ruttle. She is not legally married, as she never divorced her first husband.

The couple have been running a successful artisan food business, called Irish Bee Sensations, in Cork.

Their product has been so successful that last year they won a gold award at the prestigious Irish Food Awards in the pure Irish honey section.

Despite her 'wanted' status, Holmes has brazenly posed for publicity shots at food competitions to promote her produce.

However, it appears that she has been forced into hiding again after beekeepers in Cork began to question her "wild honey", which she sold to upmarket retail outlets.

She is now suspected of having built her business on supermarket honey that she repackaged as having been produced by "bees fed on wild heather" and sold on for a large profit. Tom Ruttle has not been connected with the alleged scam.

"We became suspicious when we realised she didn't know anything about bees. We suspect she has been repackaging and rebranding supermarket bought honey," an Irish beekeeper told the Belfast Telegraph.

Holmes' last known address was in Askeaton in Co Limerick. According to one local she has claimed to be suffering from cancer. She has not been seen in the area for several weeks and contact details for her business have been withdrawn from social media sites.

Holmes has called herself Dr Watson, Julia Watson and Celia Watson in the past.

Background

An arrest warrant was issued by the PSNI in 2011 for serial conwoman Julia Holmes when she failed to turn up at court to be sentenced for fraud. She is believed to have been living in Askeaton, Co Limerick, until last month but has gone into hiding after being accused of repackaging supermarket honey and selling it on as "wild honey" to upmarket outlets.

Belfast Telegraph

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph