LEADING local chef Nevan Maguire was just one of the victims of an International fraudster running an artisan food business.
Castlederg woman Julie Holmes is wanted by the FBI and the PSNI after selling ‘wild honey’ to upmarket retail outlets and making thousands of pounds, but vanished last month after suspicions were raised over her products.
The Tyrone woman has used 40 different identities in the past and it is believed she was repackaging imported honey and selling it as her own.
Nevan Maguire, owner of MacNean House and restaurant, Blacklion was among those approached by Holmes. She told him she was a cancer survivor interested in raising the profile of Irish honey. Mr Maguire first met Holmes last year when she introduced herself as Croen Ruttle and asked him to try her honey product.
He told the Sunday Times: “She appeared at several of my demos and told me her cancer story. I felt sympathy for her and when she asked me to do a demo, pro bono, for a charity in Dublin last March, I agreed. During the run up to the demo she disappeared and about a week later I became aware of her real identity.”
Holmes also previously brought a group of six to eat at Nevan’s MacNean Bistro. The group stayed overnight and attended the cookery school the next day. After sending an invoice to her company he received no payment.
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