Four back-to-back alleged fraud trials involving former Framlingham Aboriginal Trust administrator Geoff Clark and other family members are expected to be heard in the Melbourne County Court.
On Thursday morning a directions hearing was held in the county court in front of judicial registrar Alex Wilson for Geoff, Trudy and Jeremy Clark.
The cases were further adjourned until another filing hearing in the county court on June 22 and bail for the trio was extended until that date.
In August last year Mr Clark, his wife Trudy and their son Jeremy were committed to stand trial on alleged fraud charges.
After hearings that stretched over 18 months and been repeatedly interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic and other issues, magistrate Charlie Rozencwajg committed Geoff Clark, 69, to stand trial in the Warrnambool County Court on more than 370 fraud charges.
Trudy, 65, has just 20 of her original 481 charges remaining, mainly relating to allegations over payments of $550,000 in legal fees for her husband.
Jeremy Clark has 39 charges left, mainly relating to legal fees, Geoff's deck and a Halls Gap maintenance program.
More than 700 of an original 1171 charges alleged against four family members, including son and brother Aaron Clark, were dropped.
Geoff, Trudy and Jeremy Clark have entered 'not guilty' pleas to their remaining charges.
On Thursday a number of pre-trial issues were raised and it was explained that an application for legal aid funding was in process for Jeremy Clark with an answer expected by the end of the week.
The court heard there were no such legal aid funding issues for Geoff or Trudy Clark.
Prosecutor Justin Lewis said the Office Of Public Prosecutions wanted to keep the cases together and it could be advantageous to run a trial and then decide how to proceed with other matters.
Barristers for the three family members, Ms Wilson and Mr Lewis agreed that it would be difficult to hold four back-to-back trials in Warrnambool.
Mr Lewis said generally the OPP felt that matters ought be listed in the region where allegations were raised.
The barristers for the accused agreed that serious consideration should be given to a change of venue and for the trials to be heard in Melbourne.
Potential "reputational issues" relating to Geoff Clark in the Warrnambool region were also raised.
Barrister James Anderson claimed that "everyone in Warrnambool has an opinion about Geoffrey Clark".
Ms Wilson said she would be allocating a judge for the matter so pre-trial issues could be sorted out and an appropriate venue determined.
Ms Wilson adjourned the matters for further hearing on June 22 and extended bail for the accused people until that date.
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