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THREE men and three woman have appeared in court accused of a £3 million mortgage fraud.

The six are alleged to have concealed, disguised and transferred criminal property between April 1, 2008 and November 17, 2012.

They were named in court as: Edwin McLaren, 49, Lorraine McLaren. 48, both of Quarriers Village, Renfrewshire; Arthur Horsey, 72, from Renfrew; John Horsey, 46, and Morag Horsey, 49, both from Haddington, East Lothian and Lorraine McKenzie, 41, from Bothwell, Lanarkshire.

It is alleged by the Crown that £3,043.699 was obtained by fraud.

All six pled not guilty to the charges against them which relate to the purchase of property in Renfrewshire, Dunbartonshire, and Lanarkshire and other parts of Scotland.

The case has been continued for a further preliminary hearing in September.

Judge Lord Boyd expressed concern that one of the accused, Mrs McLaren, has been refused legal aid for such a complex case.

He said that he would be writing to the Legal Aid Board giving his views, but added: "It is not for me to tell the Legal Aid Board what to do. However, I will express my own view that it is desirable for all the accused to the legally represented.

Lord Burns continued the hearing against Mrs McLaren until June 18 at the High Court in Edinburgh.

He added: "I'll make it clear to the Legal Aid Board I would like their response before that date."

Advocate depute Gillian Wade QC, prosecuting, said: "This is a complex matter. It would be almost impossible for her to represent herself. The trial is expected to take four to six weeks.

"However, there is a limit to the steps the Crown can take and it has done everything it can , but it can't influence the decision of the Legal Aid Board."