Bogus claims probe Second solicitor arrested as part of major fraud investigation into notorious Dublin family
The Cork based solicitor is the second legal practitioner to be arrested as part of a major investigation by the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau (GNECB).
Stock photo. Niall Carson/PA Wire
March 26 2021 05:13 PM
A criminal defence solicitor who is also widely known in GAA circles has been arrested by fraud squad detectives investigating the activities of members of a notorious Dublin family.
The family have been involved in bogus insurance claims which have yielded over €1 million.
The Cork based solicitor is the second legal practitioner to be arrested by as part of a major investigation by the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau (GNECB) which has been ongoing for well over a year.
He is being held at a garda station in Co Cork after his arrest this morning and is being questioned about alleged deception and money laundering offences as well as allegedly giving misleading evidence under Section 25 of the Civil Liabilities Act.
A solicitor aged in his late 60’s based in west Dublin was arrested and released without charge last June as part of the same investigation.
A detailed file on him and the criminal family at the centre of the major probe is currently with the DPP.
“Today’s arrest is essentially about false affidavits being presented before the courts in relation to insurance fraud and bogus claims,” a senior source said.
The gang at the centre of the case were involved in a number bogus claims for ‘trips and falls’ against South Dublin County Council and Kildare County Council.
A woman is a key member of the family based organised crime gang are suspected of making up to 60 fraudulent claims against local authorities in Dublin and Kildare over a number of years which has netted them huge money.
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They are based in the Clondalkin and Lucan areas of the capital and three generations of the same family were arrested as part of the same investigation in October, 2019.
Garda investigations have established that some of the members of the gang used false names to make bogus claims but then when the money was paid out to them it was paid into bank accounts in their real names and vice-versa.
“Their fraudulent claims have mostly been for fake slips, trips and falls and in many cases they have used false names when making these claims,” a senior source explained.
“In a lot of instances these claims were settled out of court while others have went to the Circuit Court and High Court – you are talking about a lot of money here,” the source added.
Gardai targeted the family based fraud gang in a major raid in April, 2019 when six high-end cars and jewellery valued at more than €300,000 were seized from the gang.
The cars seized were a Jaguar, a Mercedes, a BMW, a Dacia and two Volkswagen Golfs.
Documentation and financial records were also seized with gardaí hoping to prosecute those suspected of insurance related criminality.
The fraud squad was assisted by the CAB and Armed Support Unit (ASU) on that occasion.
“Investigations carried out, to date, by GNECB, indicate that a number of targets in this operation have submitted multiple claims, in many circumstances while using false identities,” gardai said at the time.
“The activities of organised crime gangs like this who are involved in insurance fraud crimes affect everyone,” a senior source said.
“It is the activities of groups like this that has played a part in insurance premiums being so high which in turn has led a small businesses not being able to operate because of the high cost of insurance,” the source added.