A Fleet man has admitted his part in a multi-million credit card fraud.

Michael McKeon, 45, of Court Drive, Fleet, pleaded guilty at the eleventh hour to a £3 million credit card debt purchase fraud.

McKeon and John Metcalfe, 58, of Lodge Road in Chelmsford, changed their pleas on Monday (February 27) - the day their month-long trial was due to start at Chelmsford Crown Court.

Now they must wait to hear their fates as sentencing was adjourned until April.

The court was told the pair set up consumer and commercial credit card debt purchase schemes over nearly four years in which they fraudulently gained £3 million.

Both men were originally charged with conspiracy to defraud, which they denied.

But at Monday’s hearing they each entered guilty pleas to two offences.

The first states that between December 1 2010 and February 29 2012, they made false representations to Christopher Key about a consumer credit card debt purchase scheme which did not exist.

The charge says that they falsely stated Metcalfe had personally invested in the scheme; that McKeon was a partner in a consortium which bought and re-sold credit card debt from commercial banks and that McKeon would attend auctions to purchase such debt.

They also falsely stated that investments would be through Ganton House Investment, Newcote Investment and other third parties and that Ladbrokes and Victor Chandler were members of a consortium which was part of the scheme.

‘A very considerable fraud’

The second offence relates to making false representations between May 17 2011 and July 4 2013 to investors in a fraudulent commercial credit card debt purchase scheme.

The two defendants are said to have falsely stated that the consumer scheme funds would be re-applied to the commercial scheme and that the funds were needed to cover commercial debt purchase trials with insolvency practitioners, including Begbies Traynor and SPW.

They also stated that a debt collecting agency had been appointed and that a British Virgin Island company called Ellingham Global Ltd had been set up to facilitate investment.

Adjourning sentence until April 20, Judge Emma Peters said it was ‘a very considerable fraud’.

Both men were remanded on bail and told to surrender their passports.