Two solicitors among nine in court over mortgages 'scam'
Two solicitors and an independent mortgage adviser are accused of being embroiled in a mortgage scam involving hundreds of thousands of pounds.
Nine people appeared in the dock at Coleraine Magistrates Court yesterday in connection with the alleged fraud.
They face a total of more than 100 varying charges including fraud, deception, false accounting and acquiring criminal property.
Many of the charges relate to the purchase of 32 properties throughout the north coast.
A police officer told the court the investigation into the alleged illegal activities was far-reaching and thorough.
He said it had resulted in a total of 103 charges being brought to court.
It is alleged in a number of the charges that false property values were given in mortgage applications to acquire more higher loans. A number of leading banks and mortgage lenders are said to have been caught up in the alleged scam.
Solicitor John Francis Hickey (56), of Old Coleraine Road, Portstewart, faces more than 50 charges including fraud by false representation, obtaining services by deception and entering an arrangement to acquire criminal property. The charges date from 1995 to 2008.
Also in the dock was solicitor Paul Boyle (56), of Lodge Road, Coleraine, who is charged with two counts of obtaining services by deception.
Independent financial adviser William Larmour (62), of Craigowen Park, Holywood, faces 19 charges of false accounting on dates from 2002 until 2008. A prosecutor said he had processed financial documents – many with different addresses, incomes and job titles – on behalf of John Gaile.
She alleged Larmour assisted John Gaile with financial applications knowing the information was incorrect, an accusation denied by his defence.
"Mr Larmour would have dealt with Mr Gaile for a long time," said the prosecutor. "He was receiving commission for each one."
Six defendants are members of the same family.
John Gaile (51), of Ballymadigan Terrace, Castlerock, is charged with 41 offences. These include obtaining services by deception, fraud by false representation, acquiring criminal property and converting criminal property.
Kieran John Gaile (30), of Glebe Road, Castlerock, is accused of fraud and deception, and Patrick Gaile (50), with an address at Brookmount Road, Coleraine, faces a single charge of deception.
Lena Gaile (48) and Lee Paul Gaile (28) both gave addresses at Seacoast Road, Limavady. They face charges over deception and fraud.
Paul Gaile (50), of the same address, is charged with acquiring criminal property and fraud.
John Gaile, Lena Gaile, Lee Paul Gaile, Hickey and Paul Gaile were yesterday committed for trial and a decision will be made by Judge Liam McNally on whether the others have a case to answer on Tuesday.
The trial is scheduled to take place next month.