No evidence that jailed judge was part of fraud, court hears

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THERE was 'not a shred of evidence' that jailed judge Ian Christmas was involved in fraudulently inducing an investment from an elderly widow, the Court of Appeal heard yesterday.

The former Magistrate-designate's lawyer, Advocate Robert MacRae, told an appeal hearing that Christmas was not at the home of the woman, Marie Cotrel, when she agreed with his business partner, John Lewis, to hand over £100,000 to their company, De Lec.

Christmas is appealing his conviction and 15-month sentence for his part in a fraudulent US property scheme that ran between 2004 and 2008, when a financial crimes investigation got underway and his offices were raided by police.

Lewis, as well as Russell Foot and James Cameron, were each convicted of more than a dozen fraud offences and were sentenced to four and a half years jail for their part in the scam. They are also appealing against their convictions.

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