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'Sisters in bid for expensive property'.

Byline: HYWEL TREWYN

A WOMAN accused of fraud asked a bank manager for pounds 11.5m loans to buy a luxury hotel and properties - despite having no income, a court heard.

Andrea Vaughan Owen, 42, and her sister Roberta, 37, both of Upper Colwyn Bay, deny making a false claim for a VAT refund of pounds 161m in 2008 among a number of other fraudulent claims.

Neither ex-post office worker Andrea nor former North Wales Police civilian Roberta had worked since 1998.

Yesterday at Caernarfon Crown Court, prosecutor Paul Taylor said on September 30, 2002, Andrea asked local HSBC bank manager Aled Jones for a loan of pounds 5m to pay for a luxury hotel. Six months later, she asked Mr Jones for a loan of pounds 6.5m for similar purposes. The most he could sanction was a couple of thousand pounds. The loans were never made.

Mr Taylor said Andrea bought a house 1 Maes Meddyg, Caernarfon, on June 19, 2000. On January 30 her sister Roberta was made bankrupt and discharged on Jan 30, 2003.

In April 2005, Andrea offered pounds 225,000 to buy 17 Maes Meddyg which was on the market for pounds 159,950. The estate agent rang Andrea in case she had misunderstood but she failed to supply financial information.

In June the same year, Andrea made an appointment to see Penrhos House and cottages at Caeathro, near Caernarfon, on the market for pounds 850,000 but failed to attend.

In November, 2005, Andrea remortgaged 1, Maes Meddyg, valued at pounds 138,000 to borrow pounds 118,934 which she used towards buying 7, Cwrt Bedw, Colwyn Bay, despite being in arrears with her mortgage.

She bought 7, Cwrt Bedw in July 2007 with a massive pounds 360,000 mortgage.

In February 2008, Roberta offered pounds 695,000 for 2, Cwrt Bedw on the market for pounds 475,000. An estate agent was "alarmed by the fact that she put in excess of the asking price."

Roberta also wanted to buy Plas Ty Coch and Plas Brereton, Caernarfon on sale for just under pounds 4m in July 2008.

Other properties they wanted to buy included Nantllys Hall, St Asaph, at pounds 1.5m.

The trial continues.

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Roberta Vaughan-Owen and sister Andrea
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Nov 16, 2011
Words:380
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