North East Wales

Ex-coordinator of Plas Madoc scheme faces fraud charges

Miriam Beard arriving at Mold Law Courts
Image caption Miriam Beard ran the £750,000 a year Communities First scheme

The ex-coordinator of a scheme set up to regenerate one of Wales' most deprived housing estates has appeared in court charged with diverting more than £50,000 to herself or her son.

Miriam Beard, of Henllan, Denbighshire, faces 13 fraud and theft charges.

Ms Beard ran the Plas Madoc Communities First project, a £750,000-a-year scheme funded by the Welsh Assembly Government.

Flintshire magistrates granted bail and she is due back in court next month.

Ms Beard's appearance comes less than a week after her husband and son were in court.

James Beard, her husband, 46, also of Henllan, and her son Darrel Kelly, 35, of Greater Manchester, appeared in court on 31 December.

Her husband faces six charges of fraud and two of theft, while Ms Beard's son faces three charges of money laundering, one of fraud, and one of acquiring criminal property.

The cases will now be linked and will be transferred to crown court next month.

Ms Beard ran the Plas Madoc Communities First project, a £750,000-a-year scheme funded by the assembly government.

Among the charges she faces is one of fraud dating back to 2008, when she allegedly tried to gain £11,200 in cash for herself.

'False date of birth'

It is also alleged that she fraudulently obtained £14,567 for herself on 29 February, 2009.

She faces several charges relating to her allegedly fraudulently obtaining more than £20,000 for her son Darrell Kelly between 2007 and 2009.

Mrs Beard is charged with stealing a Husky tractor mower to the value of £1,500, which belonged to the project.

She is also charged with obtaining a pecuniary advantage - employment - in 2000, by giving false educational qualifications and a false date of birth.

Mrs Beard was bailed on condition that she does not approach or communicate in any way with any members of staff from the Plas Madoc Communities First Project.

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