TWO former shopping centre managers have appeared in court over an alleged contract scam.
Juliet Amanda Coard and Michael Lawson, who were both managers at the Galleries, in Washington,appeared before Sunderland magistrates charged with fraud by abuse of position.
It is alleged that between October 2008 and July 2010 they awarded a maintenance contract at the centre to a company which they set up called Turfcraft.
The pair were arrested following a three-year police investigation and appeared in court this week.
The charge was not formally put to Coard, 49, of Front Street, Ireshopeburn, County Durham, and Lawson, 37, of West Street, Grange Villa, and no pleas were entered.
Peter Thubron, speaking for the firm representing the pair, asked for the case to be adjourned, as court papers had arrived just three days earlier.
Chairman Linda Scanlan said the next hearing will take place on January 22.
The Galleries shopping centre manager declined to comment, but confirmed the pair no longer work for the company.