Solicitor among Belfast fraud ring accused
A solicitor appeared in court with her brother and sister yesterday after a major probe into alleged fraud, money laundering and sham marriages.
A fourth suspect, a former director of the well-known Red Panda Chinese restaurant and property group, also faces a litany of charges after a year-long police probe into their financial affairs.
He is a relative by marriage of the other three accused.
The accused are Ho Ling Mo (38), of Oakwood Park; Wu Pu Paul Mo (40), from Strathyre Park; Ling Sui Mo (44) and her husband Yau Hon Cheung (50), both of Garvey Manor, all of Belfast.
Ho Ling Mo faces charges including acquiring, converting and transferring nearly £300,000 in criminal property.
She is also accused of false accounting, fraud by false representation, four counts of assisting unlawful immigration by organising a sham marriage, cheating the public revenue, and conspiracy to conceal criminal property.
It was alleged that she owns a number of properties and has amassed more than HK$2m (£160,000) in bank accounts.
A detective opposed to bail told Belfast Magistrates Court that she was in the process of securing remortgages and could “start her life afresh in China”.
He claimed there was a risk of interfering with witnesses.
Defence lawyer Tony Caher, representing all four accused, called the claims against the solicitor “outrageous” and without basis.
Ho Ling Mo was granted bail on condition that a £10,000 cash surety is lodged, along with another bond for £20,000.
She was ordered to surrender her passport and have no contact with witnesses.
Her release was put on hold after the prosecution confirmed it would appeal the decision.
Similar bail conditions were imposed on Wu Pu Paul Mo and Ling Sui Mo, who both face charges of cheating the public revenue and converting criminal property.
District Judge Fiona Bagnall refused to release Cheung after hearing claims that more than £100,000 has been moved out of his bank accounts.
He is charged with possessing, concealing and transferring criminal property. He is further accused of obtaining property by deception, cheating the public revenue, and assisting in unlawful immigration.
Ms Bagnall ordered him to be remanded in custody to appear again via-video link next month.