Brothers deny defrauding Norwich entrepreneur Graham Dacre
Two brothers accused of playing a part in a �11.9m fraud against Norfolk businessman Graham Dacre told a jury they believed the investment scheme was legitimate.
Kevin and Martin Brennan both gave evidence at Norwich Crown Court yesterday. (Tuesday)
The court had previously heard how Mr Dacre handed over �11.9m in 2008 amid promises of huge investment returns, which would pay for his charitable projects in Norwich.
Kevin Brennan, 55, said his role was to analyse documents and research bonds for the venture, which he believed to be legitimate until he was questioned by police in 2009.
When asked if there was any evidence of lawful trading within the association he operated with his co-defendants, Brennan said: 'I believe there is a lot of evidence and the bank documents I have produced provide that. If I had any idea something illegal was going on I would have called the police.'
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Mark Fenhalls, prosecuting, said: 'You admit it was a world of charlatans and fraudsters. The point is you knew about all this and yet you freely and willingly continued to participate and you received a lot of money for it.'
Brennan replied: 'That is a complete lie. I believed completely that what I was being shown was real.'
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Brennan, of Kirkburn, Driffield, said he only realised that Mr Dacre had not got his money back when he was questioned by police.
His brother Martin Brennan said he had admired his older sibling as a role model, particularly as Kevin Brennan had served with the Royal Marines in the Falklands and the first Gulf War.
'I looked up to him as you do with an older brother,' he said. 'We never had a crossed word before all this. I have never known him to be in any way dishonest. Kevin would never, never knowingly put me or anyone else in this position.'
Martin Brennan, a former health and safety manager from Stockton-on-Tees, said he was brought into the association to organise logistics which would 'support the humanitarian projects and lifestyle of the individuals concerned.'
Defendants Ian Yorkshire, Alan Hunt, Arthur 'Trevor' Ford-Batey, David 'Fraser' Roberts and Kevin Brennan are charged with defrauding Mr Dacre.
The men, along with Martin Brennan, are also charged with laundering the money. All deny the charges.
The trial continues.