A BUSINESSMAN has been charged with a multimillion-pound fraud.
David Reid is accused of carrying out the £3.5million deception over 12 years.
The 49-year-old was yesterday charged with 23 offences of obtaining a money transfer by deception, involving 51 victims.
The charges follow an investigation by police into financial irregularities at his company, Washington Mortgage Centre, which was based in The Galleries shopping centre until it closed in January.
Reid, of Burnhope, County Durham, has also been charged with participating in a fraudulent business, dating from January 2007 to the present day.
He is due to appear at Sunderland Magistrates’ Court on September 19.
A 41-year-old woman also arrested in connection with the investigation has been released with no further action.