Woman admits defrauding 11 couples while working as top hotel wedding planner
A leading wedding planner has pleaded guilty to fraud after transferring funds from accounts set up by 11 couples for their big day at one of Northern Ireland's top hotels.
Nicola Currell, of Coastguard Cottages in Glenarm on the Antrim coast, committed the fraud at the prestigious Galgorm Resort and Spa outside Cullybackey, near Ballymena.
Currell (40) admitted 11 charges of defrauding Galgorm Resort and Spa by transferring funds from accounts it held for engaged couples to other accounts.
Her case had been listed to start as a trial at Antrim Crown Court next Monday but at the same court on Wednesday she pleaded guilty to all charges.
A 12th charge of transferring criminal property was 'left on the books'.
The fraud relates to dates between 2008 and 2011.
When she was previously arraigned on the charges at Antrim Crown Court earlier this year she had replied "not guilty" to all charges.
At that court her defence lawyer said: "This case comes down to the movement of money between various accounts in the hotel."
He said at the time the issue was "very complicated" and would benefit from being looked at "forensically" by an accountant.
At the court this week Currell was released on continuing bail and pre-sentence reports are now being prepared ahead of her return to court in October.
Galgorm Resort and Spa is a popular wedding venue and their website says: "We have devised a number of packages that draw on the experience of selective and highly respected experts in their field.
"Coupling these attributes to our own unrivalled standards and facilities we are confident that our all-inclusive weddings will afford you a stress-free journey to that perfect wedding day."