An estate agent is going on trial concerning allegations that he defrauded people of over a quarter of a million pounds.
Russell Baker, 57, of Ilsington, near Newton Abbot in Devon, pleaded not guilty to 17 counts of fraud and money laundering appeared at Exeter Crown Court.
The Torquay Express newspaper reports that the court was told the alleged offences took place over a three year period between 2011 and 2014. They include allegations that he committed fraud by abusing his position to gain money for himself.
Other charges allege Baker failed to pay back loans to various individuals, one of £50,000.
The paper says that between October 31, 2012 and February 4, 2014 Baker is accused of fraudulent trading in relation to Bovey Tracey based Ashby's Estate Agents (Devon) Ltd.
The prosecution has been brought by Devon County Council Trading Standards.
Baker spoke only to confirm his name and plead not guilty to the offences; the trial will begin on March 7 at Exeter Crown Court.