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Most wanted fugitive Mark Acklom appears in UK court hours after extradition | UK News

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Alleged fraudster Mark Acklom was led handcuffed into a UK courtroom less than 24 hours after his extradition from Switzerland.

Dressed in jeans and a grey hoodie he stood between two prison guards as the clerk took 10 minutes to read out the 20 charges he faces.

He is accused of defrauding divorcee Carolyn Woods of nearly £762,000 – her life savings – over several months in Gloucestershire soon after they met and began a relationship in 2012.

Mark Acklom arrives back in the UK
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Mark Acklom arrives back in the UK

She claims that during their year-long relationship he told her he was a wealthy Swiss banker and also worked for MI6.

The eight fraud charges each allege that “he defrauded Carolyn Woods, dishonestly claiming he was in a committed relationship and was free to marry her and needed the money as a loan to renovate property that he owned and was developing”.

The individual amounts he is said to have defrauded her of range from £4,500 to £565,450.

Mark Acklom applied for a Swiss residency permit as Marc Long
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Mark Acklom applied for a Swiss residency permit as Marc Long

He also faces 12 charges of money laundering, “converting the money knowing or suspecting it was the proceeds of criminal activity”.

Acklom, 45, told Bristol magistrates he did not want to indicate whether he would plead guilty or not guilty to the charges.

He also said he had no home, but the charge sheet gave his address in Cartagena, Spain.

Mark Acklom has changed his name to Marc Long
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Mark Acklom has changed his name to Marc Long

Acklom had been the subject of an investigation by Avon and Somerset Police for six years and was named on the UK’s most wanted list in 2016.

Police originally thought he was in Spain, but were later told he had moved to Zurich, where he rented a lakeside apartment with his wife and two young daughters.

He was arrested there in June and held in a prison in Geneva before a court ruled he should be sent back to the UK.

Acklom was with his family when he was arrested
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Acklom lost an extradition fight and arrived back in the UK on Friday

He fought extradition, but last week lost a second and final appeal after claiming that in a post-Brexit Britain his human rights would not be guaranteed.

The Swiss Supreme Court dismissed his argument as “futile” and he was flown to the UK from Geneva on Friday on an easyJet flight accompanied by Avon and Somerset Police officers.

His solicitor, Dennis Clarke, told Bristol magistrates he would not ask for bail and Acklom was remanded in custody.

Acklom will appear next at the city’s crown court on 25 March.

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