Three west Belfast men to stand trial accused of involvement in a mortgage fraud operation

THREE men are to stand trial accused of involvement in a mortgage fraud operation, a judge ordered today. Sean Heaney (56) Mark Heaney (50) and Franc

THREE men are to stand trial accused of involvement in a mortgage fraud operation, a judge ordered today.

Sean Heaney (56) Mark Heaney (50) and Francis McAree (52) appeared together at Belfast Magistrates’ Court in connection with alleged offences stretching back to 2003.

Lawyers described the case as “hugely complex and voluminous”.

Sean Heaney, of Garnock Hill in Belfast, is charged with 41 counts of fraud by false representation.

He also faces a further five counts each of entering an arrangement to acquire criminal property, and obtaining a money transfer by deception.

Mark Heaney, from Lagmore Glen in the Dunmurry area, is accused of three counts of obtaining a money transfer by deception and further offences of acquiring criminal property and fraud by false representation.

One of the charges involves an arrangement to obtain a £100,000 mortgage advance by providing a bogus reference to his employment as a painter and decorator foreman since 1991.

McAree, of Laburnum Row in Dunmurry, is charged with five counts of fraud by false representation, obtaining a money transfer by deception, and four counts of entering an arrangement to acquire criminal property.

During a preliminary enquiry hearing each of the accused confirmed they understood the charges against them.

Granting an application to have the accused returned for trial at Belfast Crown Court, District Judge Nigel Broderick released them on continuing bail until their arraignment.

Defence representatives indicated they will be seeking two barristers to represent their clients due to the scale of proceedings.

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