Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Police hopeful of tracking down fraudster who boasts 40 aliases

By Deborah McAleese

Published 15/04/2015

Serial conwoman Julia Holmes
Serial conwoman Julia Holmes

Police have said they are still actively hunting serial conwoman Julia Holmes who is wanted over an £18,000 fraud.

Holmes, who has 40 different aliases and more than 20 fraud convictions, went on the run in 2011 when she was due to stand trial at Downpatrick Courthouse.

The last known address police had for the 63-year-old grandmother was in Ballynahinch.

However, it has since emerged that she has been living in Co Limerick under the names Croen Ruttle and Julie Ruttle with her new husband Tom Ruttle.

Her identity was blown in recent weeks when suspicions were raised over a successful honey marketing business that she had set up.

She is suspected of having built her business, Irish Bee Sensations, on supermarket honey that she repackaged and sold on for a large profit to upmarket retail outlets.

Tom Ruttle has not been connected with the alleged scam.

Holmes has now once again gone into hiding, but PSNI officers are hopeful of finally tracking her down.

A PSNI spokesman said: "The PSNI are still seeking the public's help in tracing Julia Holmes who absconded in 2011 after being charged with fraud.

"Anyone who has been in contact with this woman, or thinks they know where she is now, is asked to contact detectives in Downpatrick on the non-emergency number 101."

A former friend of Holmes told the Belfast Telegraph she had been unable to contact her for several weeks.

She said she had tried both of her last known addresses in Co Limerick but there had been no response and her mobile had been disconnected.

"I am just totally dumbstruck by all of this.

"I can't believe we're talking about the same Julie I knew," she said.

Holmes has defrauded victims across Ireland and America out of hundreds of thousands of pounds.

She has more than 20 convictions for fraud, including swindling businesses in Tyrone and Antrim.

She was also deported from 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.

Clyde Parrish (56) from Athens in Texas pleaded guilty to a felony in the federal court for the Eastern District of Texas.

According to information presented in court, his then wife devised a scheme to defraud investors by encouraging them to invest in real estate in Ireland that she claimed to own, but did not.

Parrish was aware of his wife's scheme, but provided false information when interviewed by the FBI and then failed to notify authorities that his wife was committing fraud.

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

She sometimes introduces herself as a psychologist and falsely claimed to have helped sports stars, including Peter Stringer, a former top Irish international rugby player. A string of messages on a blog from people claiming to be victims of various cons stretches back to 2010.

Belfast Telegraph

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph