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Kentville men accused of million-dollar New Minas car dealership fraud appear in court

KENTVILLE – Two men accused of defrauding a New Minas car dealership of about $1.3 million have appeared in court to request changes to the conditions of their undertaking.  

Justin Darren Bateman, 30, and Darren Bateman, 53, appeared in Kentville provincial court Nov. 1 with a written submission seeking approval to have the conditions of their undertaking varied to allow for out-of-province travel.

Both men were arrested at their Kentville home Sept. 19. It is alleged the duo was involved in fraudulent activity that, RCMP officers say, occurred between Dec. 1, 2015 and Feb. 1, 2017.

Kings County News has confirmed the dealership in question is the former Summit Hyundai on Prospect Road. The current dealership, Bruce Hyundai, is a separate business that is not involved in the criminal investigation.

RCMP allege that the dealership at the heart of the court case was defrauded out of $1.3 million as a result of a string of incidents involving 26 vehicles.

After a 16-month investigation led by the Nova Scotia RCMP Financial Crime Section, with assistance from New Minas RCMP and the Kentville Police Service, six people were arrested – four men and two women.

Justin Darren Bateman and Darren Bateman are each facing charges of possession of stolen property over $5,000 and money laundering. Darren Bateman will also face a charge of fraud over $5,000.

None of the charges relating to the case have been proven in court.

The recent request to have the undertaking conditions altered was accepted. The Batemans asked that terms stating that they must remain in the province be amended so they can both continue conducting their used car business, which, court documents state, requires travel to New Brunswick.

Both men can now leave Nova Scotia from Nov. 3 to Dec. 10, 2018 and must be back in the province and return their passports to police by Dec. 12. After that date, they must each remain in Nova Scotia but can travel outside of the province once per month with prior notice given to RCMP of their travel dates.

Arraignments for both men are scheduled for Dec. 4, and their next court dates are scheduled for Dec. 11.

Police also arrested Mary Brenda Bateman, 56, on Sept. 19. Mary Bateman also underwent an undertaking process, but the case against her has since been dropped.

All three live at the same residence in Kentville.

RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Jennifer Clarke confirmed via e-mail that “this fraud investigation is still ongoing.”

RELATED: New Minas car dealership allegedly defrauded of $1.3 million

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