CAREYSFORT SAGA |
Window-salesman identified in prime time exposé claims he’s NOT Catriona Carey’s fake solicitor
John Steadmond told the Sunday World, ‘I’m going to clear my name’
17th August 2022
A PVC window-salesman, identified as the fake ‘solicitor’ who duped clients on behalf of fraudster Catriona Carey’s ‘Careysfort Asset Estates’, this week denied any involvement in the scam.
John Steadmond told the Sunday World he hasn’t been quizzed by cops since being identified as the company’s ‘solicitor’ on ‘RTE Investigates: The Accountant, The Con, The Lies,’ adding: “I’m going to clear my name on that.”
Steadmond also claimed he never made any phone calls to or took any phone calls from the clients of Careysfort Asset Estates.
- The hard-hitting RTE Investigates expose, broadcast on February 14th, exposed how Careysfort, a company run by former Irish hockey stat Catriona Carey, conned dozens of hard-pressed property owners out of hundreds of thousands of euros in a scam mortgage buy-back scheme.
- Using digital voice analysis, RTE identified Steadmond as an impostor who had assumed the name of a legitimate solicitor to engage with clients of Careysfort and assure them that the company had bought their loans.
When the Sunday World put it to Mr. Steadman, outside his home in north Wexford on Thursday, that he had been identified in this manner, he responded: “Yes, I know that and my whole life has been shit since and I’m trying to get back up off the ground and get going.
“It’s hard when people in your own area think you are nothing only an arsehole. And that’s not the truth of it.”
Mr. Steadmond continued: “My solicitor is dealing with that. I’ve no involvement whatsoever in Careysfort. Never have … I wasn’t involved in any business with Catriona Carey of any description.”
A search of the High Court register shows that so far, six months since the broadcast of the programme, which remains live on RTE Player, Mr. Steadmond has not taken any legal action against RTE.
Under the Defamation Act, Mr. Steadmond has 12 months to file a claim in the event he wished to allege defamation.
Pressed on whether he had taken or made phone calls on behalf of the company, Steadman replied: “I most certainly did not. No comment on anything else.”
Mr. Steadmond has no previous convictions.
He has one judgement for €21,040 registered against him in favour of the Collector General (Revenue) dating back to November 15th 2012.
The Sunday World previously interviewed Catriona Carey about the Careysfort property scam.
She described herself as ‘the fall guy’ in the scam – despite evidence showing she spent tens of thousands of euros of client cash on personal expenditure.
Referring to Carey, Mr. Steadmond said: “Catriona Carey is trying to wriggle and twist her way out of this according to your paper and everything else.
“And I’m not getting involved in that.”
This newspaper has also previously interviewed convicted fraudster Patrick Maher – who was listed as joint secretary of Carysfort Asset Estates from December 2021 onwards.
Mr. Maher claimed in his interview that his name had been forged on the company documents and that his relationship with Carey was ‘intimate’ rather than a business association.
He claimed his only involvement with Careysfort had been to answer phone-calls when Carey was away caring for her ill father in the lead up to his death.
A recording of a telephone between Maher and scam victim Miriam Tormey, subsequently obtained by the Sunday World, told a different story.
In it, Maher can be heard telling Miriam: “I’m the one who goes in and does the deal with your bank or vulture fund.”
And, after Miriam tried to get Maher to return her €20,000 deposit, he told her: “I’ll have the house up for sale next week because we own it.”
As part of our investigations, we have discovered that Patrick Maher and John Steadmond were previously listed as co-directors of the now dissolved property company Steady Property Developments Ltd.
Steady Property Developments Limited was registered as a new company with the Companies Registration Office on July 8th of 2015 with an address on Albert Walk in Bray.
The nature of its activity was listed as the ‘buying, selling, development and rental of property.”
There is no suggestion that this company was involved in illegality of any kind.
The company was subsequently dissolved on April 26th of 2017.
Asked about Steady Property Developments, Mr. Steadmond said: ““I set up that company to develop a site that I was going to do through my father in law and I never built it.
“Because of the economic crash, that company never traded.”
Mr. Steadmond also said it was he who had urged Paddy Maher to do an interview with the Sunday World last week.
“I did tell Paddy Maher it was very important that he spoke to you on a very civilised level and gave him the truth and I think he done that,” he said.
“And in fairness to you, you wrote it the way he told it.”
We told Mr. Steadmond he could expect the same of our reporting of what he had to say, but he replied: “I don’t want to, I’m not involved in it, I’m not getting involved in it. This is a never-ending saga. All I want this to do is sort itself out.
Asked if he had spoken with or had been questioned by the gardai, Mr. Steadman said he had not.
Asked if he intends on speaking with the gardai, Mr. Steadman replied: “Well, on the advice of my solicitor, I have to sit and wait.
“The guards obviously know where I am.
“I’m not saying that in a cocky way.
“There’s no point in me … I’ve no involvement … there’s no point in me putting myself in.
“Pat, there no point in you starting to write and putting me in the paper.
“I’ve had enough.
“I co-operated fully when I was contacted by anyone.”
Asked who he cooperated with, he replied: “anyone who contacted me.
“Catriona Carey knows who had been around and who has been questioned.
“And I’d appreciate if Catriona Carey wasn’t sending people here to my house.
“I never had anything to do with her on a business level.”
Asked about texts Catriona Carey said she had received from ‘solicitor,’ Mr. Steadmond said: “Nothing to do with me …
“I’m not involved in any company and that’s black and white.
“I had no involvement in anything to do with Careysfort … nothing. You’ve checked the company records.”
Contacted about Mr. Steadmond’s assertions that he had no involvement in the Careysfort scam, RTE this week told the Sunday World:
RTE said in a statement: “As part of the investigation into Careysfort Asset Estates (CAE) RTÉ journalists complied compelling evidence regarding Mr Steadmond, including statements from multiple sources and analysis of audio recordings. Furthermore, RTÉ also has an audio recording of John Steadmond in which he unambiguously stated that he pretended to be the solicitor for CAE when sending text messages and making phone calls to “clients” of the company.
The facts were stated clearly in the RTÉ Investigates programme that John Steadmond pretended to be Careysfort’s solicitor in dealings with victims of the fraud perpetrated by Catriona Carey. RTÉ Investigates – The Accountant, The Con, The Lies continues to be available to watch on the RTE Player.”