A MAN accused of posing as a terminally ill millionaire and attempting to defraud people out of hundreds of thousands of pounds appeared before magistrates in County Durham this week.

Jonathan Price, of no fixed address, has been charged with 12 fraud offences, which are alleged to have occurred between January 1, 2010, and May 31 this year.

The charges include pretending to be a terminally ill millionaire with access to funds abroad with the intent of causing a loss of cash and credit cards to the value of £115,636.87 belonging to a Darlington woman, as well as £24,500 from a couple in Bournemouth and £20,000 from two women in Essex.

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The 41-year-old is also alleged to have made the same false statements to place orders on an Audi motor vehicle in Leeds and two boats and a £70,000 Land Rover in Darlington.

Other charges read out at Newton Aycliffe Magistrates Court include making false claims to a Darlington Estate Agent in order to make offers on five properties worth millions of pounds and pretending to have the funds to employ a business consultant on a £150,000 salary in Leeds.

He is also accused of commissioning and failing to pay for website work to be undertaken in Darlington and claiming he would pay for the removal and storage of furniture and goods.

A trial will take place at Teesside Crown Court at a date and time to be fixed. Mr Price was remanded in custody.