A COMPANY director accused of looting pension fund contributions of almost 200 employees has been given three weeks to decide how he will plead.
Colm McNulty, director of Limestone Construction, Kilreesk Lane, St Margaret's, Dublin, is facing prosecution at Dublin District Court for deducting contributions from workers without paying them into a pension scheme.
The Irish Pensions Board (IPB) took the case when it discovered that the firm had allegedly deducted funds totalling €80,000 from his staff which were not remitted to the Construction Workers Pension Scheme.
The government agency has power to investigate the conduct of Irish pension schemes, and to ensure that trustees, employers, pension administrators and their advisers comply with the obligations they owe to current and former employees in relation to their pension contributions and benefits.
Mr McNulty is charged with 14 counts under Section 58A(1) of the Pension Acts. It is claimed that as an employer he deducted sums from the wages and salaries of staff from July 2006 until September the following year.
The maximum penalty on conviction in the District Court for each offence, is one year's imprisonment or a fine of €5,000 or both.
In 2008, a bench warrant was issued for his arrest when he did not show up for a court hearing but he has since returned to face his prosecution.
In February at Dublin District Court, Judge John O'Neill heard that Mr McNulty's bail conditions had been agreed. His passport was then in the custody of UK authorities and a European Arrest Warrant had been withdrawn.
Mr McNulty is now residing in Kells, Co. Meath and has given an undertaking in court that once his passport was returned to him he would hand it over to gardai at his local station.
The case was supposed to resume next Monday (APRIL 29), however, yesterday (WED) Judge O'Neill heard that the defence were awaiting disclosure of some material and needed to take statements from two witnesses including one who is currently in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates.
John Berry BL defending, asked for the case to be adjourned until May 15 when Mr McMcNulty will be in a position to say how he intends to plead. A lawyer for the IPB was agreeable to the adjournment sought by the defence.
The business man was not present today for the request to postpone the proceedings and was remanded on continuing bail in his absence.