AN alleged fraudster is accused of fleecing victims out of millions of pounds.
Businessman David Reid is said to have conned £3.5 million out of an estimated 51 people.
He was arrested following an investigation by police into his company, the Washington Mortgage Centre, which was based in The Galleries, Washington, until it closed in January.
The 49-year-old has been charged with 22 offences of obtaining money transfer by deception and one charge under the Theft Act.
He appeared at Sunderland Magistrates’ Court today, where prosecutor Janice Bellamy told the court the alleged crimes spanned more than 10 years.
Reid, of St John’s Mews, Burnhope, was not asked to enter a plea to the charges during the short hearing.
He will appear at Newcastle Crown Court on October 3.
Chair Carol Robson granted Reid bail on the condition he resides at his home address in County Durham.