Northern Ireland

Social Security Agency investigators deny fraud charges

Two Social Security Agency (SSA) investigators have pleaded not guilty to fraud charges.

Brian McManus, 49, of Green Road, and Elaine Copes, 42, of Ebor Parade, both Belfast, will go on trial in June 2015.

The pair are charged with misconduct in public office, conspiracy to pervert the course of justice and defrauding Quinn-Direct Insurance Group.

Prosecution allege the offences were committed between April 15, 2007 and August 22, 2008.

The first charge alleges that Mr McManus and Ms Copes wilfully misconducted themselves by establishing Comac Investigation Services (CIS) and using social security agency databases to get information.

The second charge claims they conspired to pervert the course of justice by falsifying reports and statements of evidence in relation to dates and times of surveillance work carried out on behalf of CIS clients.

The third charge alleges that Mr McManus and Ms Copes fraudulently claimed a fee from Quinn-Direct for surveillance work which they had not carried out.

The judge at Belfast Crown Court released the defendants on continuing bail.