Two Belfast men accused over alleged scam that targeted financial institutions across UK and Ireland

Two Belfast men are facing a “huge” number of charges in connection with an investigation into a suspected multi-million pound banking fraud, a court heard today.

Wednesday, 5th May 2021, 1:13 pm
Updated Wednesday, 5th May 2021, 2:27 pm
Laganside court complex in Belfast city centre.

John Cartmill, 41, and Paul Diamond, 59, are accused of conspiring as part of an alleged scam which involved targeting financial institutions across the UK and Ireland.

Police have claimed the estimated losses were in the region of £3million.

Cartmill, of Coolnasilla Park West, faces 46 charges, including 39 counts of fraud by false representation.

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He allegedly made a series of telephone calls and sent emails during 2019 and 2020, claiming to be either a customer or an employee of up to seven different banks with the intention of gaining personally or causing a loss to another.

It is also alleged he entered an arrangement to acquire criminal property, as well as concealing or converting it, on dates between August 2016 and March 2020.

Both men are jointly charged with conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation through emails and phone calls.

Diamond, of White Glen in Dunmurry, faces a further 14 counts of fraud by false representation by claiming to be a bank employee or customer.

The defendants are currently on bail and neither of them attended as the case came before Belfast Magistrates’ Court for the first time.

But a detective said she could connect the pair to all of the charges against them.

She then confirmed: “This investigation is cross-border.”

Seeking a lengthy adjournment, Cartmill’s solicitor, Ciaran Toner said: “It’s a particularly complex case.”

District Judge Greg McCourt agreed to list the next hearing for July 28.

With the accused barred from contacting each other, they must also notify police of any intention to travel outside Northern Ireland.

Mr McCourt added: “There’s obviously a huge number of charges and a lot of detail which will no doubt take up a lot of time.