Northern Ireland news

Man accused of renewable energy fraud banned from running any new schemes

The High Court in Belfast

A 50-year-old man accused of a multi-million pound investment fraud is to be banned from running any new schemes, a High Court judge ordered yesterday.

The prohibition was imposed on Paul Dougan as he was granted bail on charges linked to a renewable energy initiative with more than 130 alleged victims - many of whom are from Northern Ireland.

Mrs Justice Keegan said: "I don't think he should be involved in any investment type business, the public need to be protected."

Dougan, of Hughenden Gardens in Glasgow, faces a total of 147 charges.

They include 136 counts of fraud by false representation, and making a mini-bond invitation document for use in connection with fraud.

He is further accused of acquiring, concealing and entering an arrangement to acquire criminal property.

Dougan was arrested last month by detectives from the PSNI's economic crime unit investigating alleged offences covering period between 2011 and 2016.

The probe involves investments and property arrangements worth up to £8 million in total.

A previous court was told funds were paid into a renewable energy bond scheme allegedly run by Dougan.

It was further claimed that a number of properties in Co Tyrone and Co Donegal were transferred over to a company under the defendant's control.

According to the prosecution Dougan has connections to Saudi Arabia, South America and Gibraltar, where a yacht for hire was said to be moored.

He mounted a fresh application for bail after obtaining a new address in Larne, Co Antrim.

The court heard all of his assets have been restrained as part of the ongoing investigation.

With another suspect currently reporting to police on a voluntary basis, Mrs Justice Keegan decided Dougan can be released from custody under strict terms.

She stressed: "He must not recruit or deal with any investment scheme, I want that made clear."

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