Former Santander employee accused of multimillion-pound fraud

Belfast man (39) to stand trial on 66 counts of fraud by abuse of position with bank

It is alleged that Ciaran Brendan Barr caused a loss to Santander in relation to applications for banking services made on behalf of companies and individuals. File Photograph: Albert Gea/Reuters

It is alleged that Ciaran Brendan Barr caused a loss to Santander in relation to applications for banking services made on behalf of companies and individuals. File Photograph: Albert Gea/Reuters

 

A Belfast man is to stand trial in connection with an alleged multimillion-pound banking fraud, a judge ordered on Monday.

Ciaran Brendan Barr is accused of multiple offences against his former employer Santander.

The 39-year-old, of Mount Eagles Close in Dunmurry, appeared at Belfast Magistrates Court for a preliminary enquiry hearing.

He is charged with 66 counts of fraud by abuse of position, and two further frauds by false representation.

It is alleged that he caused a loss to Santander in relation to applications for banking services made on behalf of companies and individuals.

The charges cover a period from March 2013 to February 2018.

A second man, 51-year-old Stephen Donald of Carrick Road in Loughbrickland, Co Down, faces two counts of fraud by false representation.

Defence lawyers did not contest prosecution submissions that they have a prima facie case to answer.

On that basis district judge Mark McGarrity granted an application to have the accused returned for trial at Belfast Crown Court on a date to be fixed.

Both men were released on continuing bail, with two barristers set to represent Mr Barr due to the scale of the case.

Defence counsel Barry Gibson explained to the court: “It’s a major fraud investigation, the sums involved are millions [of pounds].”