Community project leader in court on £50k fraud charge

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Staff reporter

THE co-ordinator of a scheme set up to regenerate one of Wales’ most deprived housing estates has appeared in court charged with diverting more than £50,000 to herself or her son.

Miriam Beard, 55, of Tryfan Uchaf, Henllan, near Denbigh, faces 13 fraud and theft charges.

Beard ran the Plas Madoc Communities First project, a £750,000 a year scheme funded by the Wales Assembly Government.

She made her first appearance before Wrexham Magistrates Court, sitting at Mold, yesterday.

The magistrates agreed the case should be dealt with at the crown court.

She is charged with fraud on April 25, 2008, that while co-ordinator, a position where she was expected to safeguard the financial interests of the project, she dishonestly abused that position, intending to make a gain of £11,200 in cash for herself.

It is alleged that she fraudulently obtained £14,567 for herself on February 29, 2009, £260 for herself between November 2008 and January 2009, £581 for herself between February 2009 and April 2009, £562 for herself in June 2009 and £354 for herself between February and March 2009.

She is also charged with fraudulently obtaining £6,300 for her son, Darrell Kelly, in February 2007; £6,000 for her son in April 2008, £6,000 for her son in March 2009, £4,300 for her son between September 2008 and December 2009 and £3,000 for her son between August 2007 and November 2007.

Miriam Beard is charged with stealing a Husky tractor mower to the value of £1,500, belonging to the project.

She is also charged with obtaining a pecuniary advantage employment in 2000, by giving false educational qualifications and a false date of birth.

Her husband James Beard, 46, also of Tryfan Uchaf, Henllan, and her son, Darrell Kelly, 35, of Green Oak, Radcliffe, Greater Manchester, appeared in court last Friday.

James Beard faces six charges of fraud and two theft and her son faces three charges of money laundering, one of fraud and one of acquiring criminal property.

The cases will now be linked and magistrates yesterday adjourned the case of Miriam Beard until mid-February so that all defendants can be committed to the crown court.

Miriam Beard was bailed on condition that she does not approach or communicate in any way with any members of staff from the Plas Madoc Communities First project.

See full story in the Leader

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