Mortgage fraud accused ‘claimed he lost part of leg in car crash’

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A Belfast man allegedly claimed he had lost part of his leg in a car crash as part of a 12-year campaign of mortgage fraud, a court has heard.

Liam Buckingham, 46, is accused of obtaining nearly £300,000 in loans through a series of bogus income declarations.

He also dishonestly portrayed himself as a security firm owner and a landscape designer in mortgage application forms, according to the prosecution.

Buckingham, of Beechmount Grove in the city, appeared before Belfast Magistrates’ Court to face a total of 22 charges.

They include 15 counts of fraud by false representation, another four charges of obtaining services by deception, two of converting criminal property, and transferring criminal property.

The alleged offences were committed between December 2003 and June 2015.

During a preliminary enquiry hearing Buckingham confirmed he understood all the charges against him.

He is accused of obtaining loans of £112,565, £95,000, £82,405, and £5,000.

According to the Crown case one of his false representations involved claiming to earn £5,000 a month from running a security firm.

He also allegedly stated that he had lost part of a leg in a car accident and expected to receive compensation.

Prosecution submissions that Buckingham has a case to answer were not contested.

The accused declined to give evidence or call witnesses at this stage in proceedings.

He was then returned for trial at Belfast Crown Court, on bail, at a date to be fixed.

Defence lawyers confirmed their plans to have two barristers represent him due to the scale of the case.

Counsel said: “Essentially this is a series of alleged mortgage frauds spanning a period of over a decade.”