Accountant and his brother appear in court over allegations of €1.2 million fraud
10th August 2021
AN ACCOUNTANT AND his brother have been charged with theft and money laundering after almost €1.2m in fictitious expenses was “syphoned” from a financial services firm in Dublin.© Sasko Lazarov via RollingNews.ie File photo – Criminal Courts of Justice
Vipul Dhoot, 35, with an address at Hallwell Place, Lucan, Co. Dublin was charged with 10 counts of stealing various sums totalling €293,803 on dates last year, from a city-centre firm where he held a senior position.
His younger brother Rajeesh Dhoot, 29, of St Patrick’s Court, Clanbrassil Street, Dublin was charged with six counts of possessing €46,000 in crime proceeds.
They were arrested following an investigation by the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau.
The pair, who are originally from India but living and working in Ireland for a number of years, appeared before Judge Brian O’Shea at Dublin District Court today.
Detective Garda Ronan Farrelly told the court Vipul Dhoot made no reply after he was charged.
He objected to bail citing the seriousness of the case and flight risk concerns. The charges before the court represented a sample and the full investigation related to the theft of just close to €1.2m from January 2019 until November last year, he told Judge O’Shea.
It was alleged Vipul Dhoot claimed fictitious expenses to be paid to a service provider which was legitimately used by his accountancy firm.
He agreed the case against Vipul Dhoot was that money was syphoned off and transferred mostly into an bank account in India, and to an account of his co-accused, and also two other people who are not currently before the courts.
The investigation resulted in the accountant’s home being searched and recovery of documentation and computer data, the contested bail application was told. Forensic accountants had also been used in the case, the court heard.
The detective said earlier this year Vipul Dhoot had surrendered his passport to the investigating gardai.
However, he alleged the accused later tried to apply for a new one and went to his local station claiming he lost his passport. He did not agree with defence solicitor Brian Coveney that this related to a driving licence.
Questioned by the defence, he accepted the married father-of-one did not have any history of bench warrants and has lived in Ireland for seven years.
Pleading for bail, Coveney said his client would not face trial until the end of 2023 or perhaps the following year. Refusal of bail could mean a lengthy period in custody on remand. It was a very complex investigation and his client was presumed innocent, he submitted.
Vipul Dhoot had ties to this jurisdiction and a permanent address in the State, he told the court. The solicitor also pointed out that his client made no effort to flee after his home was searched in January.
Judge O’Shea refused to grant him bail and remanded the accountant in custody pending the preparation of a book of evidence.
He will face his next hearing at Cloverhill District Court on Friday.
Judge O’Shea said it seems further charges will come in relation to him.
Detective Garda Laura Barton told the court that co-defendant Rajeesh Dhoot replied “I will speak to my solicitor first” after he was charged with six counts of money laundering.
It related to €46,000 out of a total of €70,000 that was allegedly transferred to him, the judge noted.
There was no objection to his bail but he was ordered to abide by conditions: surrender his passport, not leave the State, provide gardai with a contact phone number and sign on daily at a Garda station.
He was told he must appear again at the district court in September to be served with a book of evidence. His solicitor James MacGuill is to provide a statement of his means for a legal aid application.
Judge O’Shea has refused jurisdiction meaning the pair, subject to the consent of the Director of Public Prosecutions, will face circuit court trial. Neither has indicated a plea.
Comments are closed as legal proceedings are ongoing.