Nine sent to crown court on nationwide fraud charges
NINE people have appeared in court charged with taking part in an alleged large-scale UK-wide mobile phone scam.
The group, of eight men and one woman, are from Sketty, Mayhill, Manselton, Brynmill, Gowerton and Port Talbot.
Two others are from Plymouth and Bristol. They are all charged with conspiracy to defraud.
The charge alleges that between October 20, 2005, and April 21, 2010, at Swansea the group conspired together to defraud customers of mobile phone providers by selling them purported insurance policies.
It is alleged the policies were unauthorised by the Financial Services Authority and were invalid.
The accused are Christopher Mark Davies, 30, of Bickleigh, Plymouth; Wayne Ghosh, 42, from Coedfan, Sketty; Helen Lianne Lewis, 27, of Monterey Street, Manselton; Craig Odger, 28, of Park Place, Brynmill; Andrew Malcolm Patterson, 31, of Pen y Dre, Gowerton; Craig Pitman, 31, of Crown Street, Port Talbot; Mark Rees, 49, of Cedric Close, Sketty; and Christopher John Surnam, 46, of Rembrandt Court, Swansea.
Omar Humayan Mapara, 31, of Portishead, Bristol, is also facing an additional charge of conspiracy to defraud in that between September 2009 and February 2012, at Bristol, with another person known only as Dan, he conspired to defraud Annette and Keith Bigg by purporting to receive money from them for various forms of investment that did not exist.
Mapara is also charged with four counts of false representation.
The first charge says that between September 2009 and February 2012 he made a false representation to Mr Bigg in relation to properties at plot 13 and plot 17 St Helen's Quarter, Swansea.
It is also said that between June 2010 and October 2010 he committed another fraud towards Bhaven Mashru about the purchase of property at Llys Ael y Bryn, Birchgrove, Swansea.
It is alleged he planned to buy the property for £33,400, intending to cause Mr Mashru loss.
He faces another count of fraud by false representation in that he also intended to subject Mr Mashru to a loss of £775 in relation to a debt for painting and decorating.
The fourth charge alleges that between January 31 and April 23 he also exposed Mr Mashru to a loss of £6,800.
During a brief hearing at Swansea Magistrates' Court the nine all said they did not yet intend to enter pleas.
Judge Vivian Manning-Davies declined jurisdiction in the case and sent it to be heard at Swansea Crown Court on November 23.
"Because of the gravity of the matters that you respectively face, the law requires me to sent this case directly to the crown court. You must appear in crown court in a week," said the judge.
All nine of the group were given unconditional bail.