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Judge is taken off alleged property scam case

More than 50 Northern Irish property investors in an alleged £9.2m overseas property scam have had the judge presiding over their class action lawsuit removed.

Three former British property magnates are now to appear in a Madrid court next month.

The investigating judge was removed following a legal petition after his brother was found to have held senior positions in a Dominican Republic firm headed by accused, Spanish developer Ricardo Miranda Miret.

A criminal claim for fraud and misappropriation of funds was lodged in February 2011 in a bid to recover deposits paid by investors to Ocean View Properties (OVP). It now has 120 British, Irish and American claimants for £9.2m.

Many Northern Irish investors remortgaged homes to finance their dream luxury buys. One victim from Co Armagh said he invested in the proposed Estepona development with his family.

More than 1,000 British investors, who paid a total of £45m for overseas property developments, lost money when OVP was formally dissolved in 2009.

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