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Northern Irish dealer in half-million pound settlement

A car dealer from County Londonderry, Northern Ireland, is to hand over property worth £500,000 in a settlement with the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA).

SOCA has pursued Mark McGill and his wife Jacqueline, of Coleraine, for two years.

The couple had property worth £2 million frozen in 2006.

SOCA became suspicious when McGill's tax returns were substantially different from those submitted in mortgage and banking applications.

The agency also noted a disparity between the McGill's modest declared income and their actual spending on holidays, luxury goods and property.

In a seperate case in February, SOCA's sister organisation the Assets Recovery Agency (ARA) was granted a court order to recover £180,000 of assets from Gerard Mulligan, owner of Top Carz in Lusburn, County Antrim.

It led to the closure of Top Carz and confiscation of all funds related to the business.

The ARA suspected Mulligan had gained most of his assets through mortgage fraud, benefit fraud, tax evasion and false accounting, as his lifestyle far outweighed known legal means of income.

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