Man defrauded three victims

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A Portadown man faces up to 10 years in jail after he pleaded guilty to defrauding more than £250,000 from three victims - a travel company, a Masonic lodge and a dead soldier’s trust fund.

Last Friday at Craigavon Crown Court, 45-year-old David Flannigan confessed to three counts of committing fraud by abusing the positions of trust he held with the R N Moore Will Trust, Portadown Masonic Recreation Club and Orchard County Travel.

According to the indictment, Flannigan, from Lurgan Road, swindled £161,370 from the R N Moore Will Trust, £66,800 from his local Masonic club and £23,508 from the travel company over a four-year period from January 1, 2010 to May 20, 2014.

Following those confessions, a prosecution lawyer asked Judge Patrick Lynch QC to leave seven further charges on the books. These allege that Flannigan transferred, used and possessed criminal property.

The Public Prosecution Service (PPS) took a similar stance in relation to Flannigan’s estranged wife, 42-year-old Judy Flannigan, from Kernan Hill Manor, Portadown.

Prosecuting lawyer Nicola Auret told the court that given her husband’s guilty pleas, a view had been taken that “it’s no longer appropriate to proceed” against Mrs Flannigan.

She had faced a single count of possessing £121,357 of criminal property but that was also left on the books.

The circumstances surrounding the charges have not been formally opened in court yet but it was reported at the time the monies were stolen that the PSNI alerted the Masonic club after the massive sum reportedly disappeared from the trust fund of a family of a Royal Irish Ranger who was killed by the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Flannigan is currently on bail awaiting sentence and he will be dealt with on October 27 once the Probation Service has compiled a pre-sentence report.

At a hearing in June, Flannigan had denied the charges.