In brief: End near for Charles Deacon fraud trial

The prosecution in the fraud trial of solicitor Charles Julian Deacon begins its closing speech early this week, with the prospect of the jury being sent out by Friday. Deacon faces 11 counts in relation to a series of alleged advance fee frauds totalling around US$1 billion in promised loans, by which he allegedly obtained more than US$18 million. He faces six counts of conspiracy to defraud, four of obtaining property by deception and one of theft. Two counts relate to US$2 million allegedly stolen from law firm Howes Percival.