A MAN and woman have pleaded guilty to a Scotland-wide organised criminal fraud scheme which saw pensioners across Scotland conned out of more than £250,000 – including £50,000 from a 70-year-old man in Ayrshire.

Derek Moore and Julie McQuade spent nearly two weeks on trial at Ayr Sheriff Court before pleading guilty to a series of offences committed between August 2021 and February 2022 in which they obtained £252,800 by fraud.

Moore, 42, admitted eight charges, while 31-year-old McQuade pleaded guilty to one.

Moore pleaded guilty to pretending to be a member of a bank’s fraud team at an address in Dundonald between November 23, 2021 and February 17, 2022, and inducing a 70-year-old man to transfer separate sums of £20,000 to two accounts.

He admitted going to the man’s home address and impersonating a police officer, inducing the man to attend the Royal Bank of Scotland in Kilmarnock and to transfer a further £10,000 into a third bank account.

Moore also pleaded guilty to having a shotgun with him at a farm in Dundonald and elsewhere on November 23, 2021, while not being in possession of a valid firearms certificate.

The other offences were committed in Dundee, Perth, Glasgow, Johnstone, Musselburgh and Lerwick.

The pair entered pleas of guilty after several days of Crown evidence in the case.

Moore targeted a woman of 76 and her 75-year-old husband in Dundee between August 12 and February 17, pretending to be a member of a fraud team from the woman’s bank.

He induced her to attend a jeweller’s shop in the city’s Union Street and then to travel to McAslin Street in Glasgow to hand over the item.

He induced the same couple to hand over their bank cards and driving licence and purchased a bracelet at another jewellery store, this time in Pollokshields in Glasgow.

The couple were then told to go to the post office in High Street in Perth, where they withdrew £5,000 in Euros, before going to a car park in Springburn Road in Glasgow, where they handed over the cash to Moore.

Moore then went to the Santander branch in the city’s Byres Road and pretended to staff that he was the 75-year-old, attempting to withdraw £7,000 using the man’s bank card, PIN and his driving licence.

He admitted inducing both to attend the Santander branch in Perth’s High Street and to transfer £20,000 to an account in the name of Jessica Knight.

He also pleaded guilty to inducing the couple to go to the same bank again and to attempt to withdraw £3,000 to give to him.

In a separate charge, Moore admitted phoning an 83-year-old woman and inducing her to attend the RBS branch in Church Street, Johnstone, to withdraw £15,000, before travelling to Johnstone railway station where she handed over the cash to him.

Moore induced the same woman to go to the same branch for a second time, this time to transfer £20,000 to an account in the name of Shane Johnson.

The Dundonald incident saw Moore induce his victim to attempt to transfer £20,000 to an account in the name of Chelsea May Saunders Hall, and a further £20,000 to an account in the name of Tyrelly Nicholson.

Moore went to the man’s home address and falsely told him he was a police constable named Andy Bell, inducing him to go to the RBS in John Finnie Street in Kilmarnock and to transfer £10,000 to an account in the name of Chloe Fleming.

Moore targeted his next victim, an 80-year-old woman, in Musselburgh, inducing her to transfer £15,000 to an account in the name of Priya Seta.

He then induced the same woman to go to the Bank of Scotland branch in the town’s High Street and transfer £15,000 to him.

He also induced the woman to give him details of her bank cards, using one of them to withdraw £1,500 and attempting to obtain a further £3,600.

Both Moore and McQuade admitted conning an 85-year-old woman in Lerwick out of sums of £4,900, £4,800, £6,500, £4,900, £1,000, £4,900 and £4,900.

On five occasions the woman transferred a total of £33,000 from her bank account to one in the name of a Louise Dalgleish, and on three further occasions she transferred £4,900 to the same account.

On two occasions £4,900 was sent to an account in the name of Dylan McSwiggan, while the same woman was induced to attend a Santander branch to transfer £4,900 to an account in the name of Megan Devine.

Moore admitted a further charge of being concerned in the supply of heroin at his flat in Chapel Street in Rutherglen on February 18, 2022, and being in possession of a side-by-side barrelled shotgun at the same address.

Sheriff Shirley Foran deferred sentence on both accused for criminal justice social work reports.

McQuade, of Whitlawburn, Cambuslang, was released on bail, but Moore was remanded in custody.

The pair will return to court for sentencing at a later date.