Sunday 26 October 2014

Breifne O’Brien to be sentenced for multi-million fraud next month

Published 26/06/2014 | 13:09

Breifne O'Brien
Breifne O'Brien

Businessman Breifne O’Brien will be sentenced on July 30th on multiple charges of multi-million euro theft and deception.

O'Brien (52), of Kilmore, Monkstown Grove, south County Dublin, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to 14 sample counts earlier this month.

They included stealing money and dishonestly inducing people to invest in bogus shipping and insurance schemes, and also bogus property schemes in Paris, Manchester and Hamburg on dates between 2003 and 2008.

O'Brien, whose family home is in Carrigrohane Castle, Co Cork, had denied all charges, but changed his plea to guilty on the day his trial was due to start.

Patrick McGrath SC, defending, asked Judge Patricia Ryan to adjourn sentencing to next October after stating that there have been family difficulties. Counsel handed in a letter to the court relating to these.

Judge Patricia Ryan refused this submission and set a date of July 30 for the sentencing hearing, which is set to take at least one day. She remanded O'Brien on continuing bail until then.

The deception involves five victims namely Martin O'Brien of Naas, Co Kildare, Dubliners Pat Doyle and Evan Newall, Tipperary dairy farm Louis Dowley and Daniel Maher of Foxrock, Co Dublin.

The charges outine that about €4million was stolen from Mr Dowley, who has an address at Carrick-on-Suir, Co Kilkenny.

O’Brien also admitted deceiving Mr Doyle and Mr O’Brien of €500,000; Mr Newell of a total of about €3 million; and Mr Maher of €450,000. The deception against Mr Newell relates to the sale of lands in Dunshaughlin, Co Meath.

The offences took place at National Irish Bank in Stillorgan and Donnybrook as well as Ulster Bank, Donnybrook, Dublin 4.

Counsel said his client has no previous convictions.

In May 2013, Mr O’Brien lost a High Court judicial review challenge arguing he could not get a fair trial due to adverse publicity in the print and broadcast media.

He appealed the outcome to the Supreme Court, which ruled that the trial could proceed any time after June 2014.

Earlier this month, O'Brien made a separate application to bring a fresh judicial review challenge, on grounds arising from a recent Supreme Court ruling concerning rights of detained persons to have solicitors present during interviews.

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