Seven face charges over 'multimillion housing fraud'

SEVEN men appeared in court yesterday to deny a multimillion-pound fraud scheme involving false paperwork in property deals dating back to 1998.

Another man and a woman also face separate fraud charges.

The nine, appearing in open court for the first time, denied all the charges they face.

Lawyers at the High Court in Edinburgh told the judge, Lord Menzies, that they were still wading through "a room full" of documents held at an Aberdeen police station. It is hoped to fix a date for a lengthy trial at a further hearing in May.

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The fraud scheme is said to be linked to the offices of solicitors' firms, development and investment companies a mortgage adviser and a chartered surveyor.

It is alleged that David Pocock, 47, Russell Taylor, 42, Alastair Walker, 61, David Ramage, 52, David Pocock, 30, Frank Pocock, 49, and Patrick Pocock, 46, obtained money, mortgages and property by completing mortgage application forms giving false purchase prices and backing up the pretence with false valuation reports.

The total obtained by the seven is alleged to be more than 4.6 million.