BAIL has been refused for a man facing over 140 charges relating to alleged fraud, without the judge hearing an application – something she remarked upon as a first.
Appearing by video-link at Magherafelt Magistrates Court was Paul Dougan (50) with an address given as Hughenden Gardens, Glasgow who is accused of 136 counts of fraud by false representation, and three each of acquiring, concealing and entering into arrangements to acquire criminal property as well as single counts of making and possessing articles in connection with fraud.
The charges relate to various dates from 2011 to 2017, and involve an alleged 133 victims.
The false representations matters involve alleged offers of investment in projects with intention to make personal gain and loss to others.
It is further alleged Dougan fraudulently made mini-bond invitation documents, acquired investment funds and other assets which he then allegedly converted as criminal property and entered into arrangements to facilitate this.
A defending lawyer advised bail would be sought but based on a previous application at high court it was indicated the principle issue over potential release was a suitable address.
Given this had been indicated by the high court the defence asked District Judge Oonagh Mullan to refuse bail at magistrates’ court, which she initially felt to do so would require her it hear the application before deciding.
However, the defence was keen to list the matter at high court but could not do so before a prior listing and refusal at magistrates court.
Judge Mullan agreed although stated, “It’s the first time I have refused bail without hearing the application.”
Dougan is to appear again on November 27 by video-link or in person if bail is granted in the meantime.
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