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Finance officer accused of scamming Belfast cultural body out of more than £36,000 to stand trial, judge orders

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Sonya Egan (42) is appealing the three-year prison sentence handed to her for harrassment. (Stock image)

Sonya Egan (42) is appealing the three-year prison sentence handed to her for harrassment. (Stock image)

Sonya Egan (42) is appealing the three-year prison sentence handed to her for harrassment. (Stock image)

A finance officer is to stand trial over allegations that she scammed a cultural body in Belfast out of more than £36,000, a judge has ordered.

Laura McKeown is accused of taking the money and causing a loss to Exchange Place Resources Ltd.

The 39-year-old, of Elmwood Cottages in Newtownabbey, appeared at Belfast Magistrates’ Court to face a charge of fraud by abuse of position.

Based at Donegall Street in the city, Exchange Place Resources Ltd is listed at Companies House under the category of museums activities.

McKeown is alleged to have abused her role of safeguarding its financial interests to take a total of £36,680 sometime between October 2018 and February 2021.

During a preliminary enquiry hearing, she declined to give evidence or call witnesses at this stage.

Defence solicitor Pearse MacDermott made no contrary submissions after prosecutors contended that she has a prima facie case to answer.

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On that basis, Judge Alan White granted an application to have the accused sent for trial at Belfast Crown Court.

McKeown was released on bail to return for arraignment on a date to be set.


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