Ballymena link to loan scam court case

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A man and woman appeared in court today accused of targeting a High Street payday lender in a loan scam operated across Northern Ireland.

Shephard Muzenda, 38, and Nadine Lavery, 28, were ordered to stand trial for a catalogue of alleged offences against The Money Shop.

Muzenda, of Toome Road in Ballymena, and Lavery, from Clonavogie Gardens in Belfast, face a combined total of 25 charges of fraud by false representation.

The pair are also accused of aiding and abetting in a scam said to have been carried out between December 2011 and January 2012.

The alleged offences were committed against branches of The Money Shop in Belfast, Newry, Bangor, Lisburn, Newtownards, Antrim and Lurgan.

It is claimed that they gave fake names and supplied false documentation to obtain a number of loans.

During a preliminary enquiry hearing at Belfast Magistrates’ Court defence lawyers did not contest prosecution submissions that both accused have a case to answer.

Muzenda and Lavery declined an offer to give evidence or call witnesses at this stage in proceedings.

District Judge Fiona Bagnall granted a prosecution application to have them returned for Crown Court trial.

The defendants were released on continuing bail until their arraignment on a date to be fixe