Northern Ireland

Fermanagh man charged with £451,000 fraud

A Fermanagh man has been charged with trying to defraud companies and individuals out of more than £451,000.

Eric Boyd, 43, of Church Hill, Brookeborough appeared before Enniskillen Magistrates' Court accused of 11 counts of fraud.

The amounts involved range from £2,000 to £200,000. He also faces a charge of obtaining 35,000 euros (£29,000) by fraud.

The judge granted the defendant continuing bail of £500.

An investigating detective told the court he believed he could connect Mr Boyd to the charges.

He agreed with solicitor Peter Corrigan that the defendant gave an account of his financial dealings in a prepared statement during police interview.

The detective added that it was likely to be a "complex" fraud case which would take some time to investigate.

District Judge Philip Mateer stated that he would defer granting of legal aid until the defendant's financial status was ascertained.

Mr Corrigan said his client was no longer in business.

"He has no savings and there is no suggestion he has hidden assets," he said.

Judge Mateer said the court needed evidence Mr Boyd had no means "because of the amount of money alleged to have passed through his hands".

The court also heard that Mr Boyd had previously been involved in overseas ventures in Bulgaria and Turkey.

Judge Mateer ordered the defendant to hand his passport into the authorities within 48 hours and have no contact, either directly or indirectly, with the persons he is alleged to have defrauded.