A jury was sworn in today (Wednesday) for the trial of a brother and two sisters accused of an alleged international property scam.
In the dock at Belfast Crown was Bernadette McGeary (55) of Carland Road, Dungannon, Co Tyrone.
The unemployed woman faces a total of 27 charges including obtaining a money transfer by deception, transferring criminal property, entering into an arrangement to acquire criminal property, obtaining property by deception and theft.
She is further accused of using a false instrument with intent, fraud by false representation and removing criminal property.
Civil servant Stephen Peter McGeary (53) of Drumglass Way, Dungannon is accused of a total of eight counts which include entering into an arrangement to acquire property, using criminal property, possession of criminal property and transferring criminal property.
Catherine Mooney (52), of Edendork Road, Dungannon, who is also a civil servant, is accused of entering into an arrangement to acquire criminal property, possession of criminal property and using criminal property.
All three deny the charges.
Belfast Recorder Judge David McFarland told the jury of seven women and five men that the trial is expected to last up to six week.
“This case relates to an alleged fraud relating to investments by people in Spanish property,’’ said Judge McFarland.
The jury was told that Stephen McGeary use to work as a civil servant in Belfast but is now working in Dungannon.
The Belfast Recorder said Catherine Mooney worked as a civil servant in Belfast and her old sister Bernadette McGeary was currently unemployed.
Up to 20 complainants packed into public gallery and a number of them were asked by the trial judge to stand up to identify themselves to the jury.
The judge told the jury: “You should not discuss this case with anyone. You are not to discuss it with friends or family.
“You should also not research this case on the internet. You should search out any information on this case on the internet.
“I have to remind you that is a criminal offence for a juror to research a case on the internet.’’
The trial will start tomorrow (Thursday).