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Sunday 21 September 2014

Ex-auctioneer took €190k life savings from pensioner

Published 28/05/2014 | 02:30

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Eugene McMorrow: outside Cavan Circuit Court yesterday
Eugene McMorrow arrives at Cavan Courthouse yesterday
Eugene McMorrow arrives at Cavan Courthouse yesterday

A retired auctioneer has been jailed for thee years after admitting he defrauded a pensioner out of almost €200,000.

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Eugene McMorrow (71) used the German pensioner's life savings to fund property speculations that went "belly up", Cavan Circuit Criminal Court heard.

McMorrow of Bank Lane, Belturbet, Co Cavan, pleaded guilty to two sample counts of obtaining money by false pretensions at The Diamond, Belturbet on dates between February 1988 and February 1989.

Judge John O'Hagan suspended the last two years of a five-year sentence after hearing evidence from a GP that McMorrow suffers from a heart murmur and a coronary infection.

Detective Garda Paul Cullen told the court that McMorrow retired from a senior role in the Ulster Bank in Belturbet in the early 1990s and set up an investment agency and a property development company.

He said victim Adele Specht, an 84-year-old German woman, began investing her savings with McMorrow around this time through a friend of hers who was living in Belturbet.

McMorrow falsely pretended to lodge the money entrusted in him to a deposit account in the First National Building Society.

The money was recorded in a deposit book, but were kept by McMorrow instead of being lodged to the building society.

Over the years the victim invested a total of €325,000 with McMorrow.

Her friend, Horst Westrich, had withdrawn €135,000 in small amounts over this time and sent it back to her.

Charges

In total, Ms Specht lost €190,000.

The money was never recovered and the court heard it was used in failed punts on the property market.

The court heard McMorrow is a pensioner with no previous convictions and a family man whose children are now adults.

McMorrow had also been charged with defrauding a total of €346,000 from Mr Westfrich between January 1983 and December 2001 but the Director of Public Prosecutions entered a nolle prosequi on these charges.

Irish Independent

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