Friday 24 February 2017

Fraudster used taxi firm to fund personal lifestyle

'Irregularities' found in books

Dearbhail McDonald

Dearbhail McDonald

SOCIALITE businessman Breifne O'Brien used money from his taxi company to fund his personal lifestyle, it has emerged.

Creditors of Blackrock Cabs, the defunct taxi firm once owned by the self-confessed pyramid scheme fraudster and his estranged wife Fiona Nagle, were told yesterday that some of the company's monies were used to fund his socialite lifestyle.

Blackrock Cabs was placed into liquidation with debts of €157,000 as creditors were told that they will never be repaid one cent of what they are owed.

At a private meeting in a Dublin hotel, creditors were told by Blackrock Cabs director David Kerins that that "alarming irregularities" in the firm's books of accounts had been discovered.

Creditors of the taxi firm, which employed five staff and once had a 40-strong fleet, include the Revenue Commissioners who are owed more than €77,000.

Mr O'Brien, who is being investigated by the garda fraud squad after he confessed in 2008 to operating an alleged pyramid investment scheme, did not attend yesterday's meeting.

Mr O'Brien's wife, PR professional Fiona Nagle -- who had previously made claims over assets of her husband in Blackrock Cabs but resigned as a director of the firm earlier this year -- also did not attend the creditors meeting at the Harcourt Hotel in Dublin.

Liquidator

Representatives of the couple, who claimed they are owed an estimated €300,000 by the company, objected on their behalf to the appointment of liquidator Alan Fitzpatrick to realise the assets of the company which has ceased trading.

Mr O'Brien claims he lent €300,000 of his own money to the taxi business.

Eileen Nagle, Mr O'Brien's mother-in law who also briefly served as director of the business and is owed €20,000, did not attend the meeting which lasted just under 30 minutes yesterday.

Mr O'Brien and his wife resigned as directors of the taxi firm last year after he was exposed as the operator of an alleged pyramid scheme.

Those who attended the meeting yesterday included Dublin Sheriff John Fitzpatrick -- who confiscated assets, including Mr O'Brien's Aston Martin, to satisfy court judgments on behalf of some of the people who invested with Mr O'Brien.

The Aston Martin, once valued in excess of €200,000, was later sold for less than €40,000. Stocks and shares owned by Mr O'Brien have also been sold to meet his multi-million euro liabilities, but only some €200,000 has been raised to date.

At a meeting in a solicitors office in 2008, shortly before investors sought to freeze his assets, Mr O'Brien said that it was "easy to pull suckers in when the economy was booming".

Irish Independent

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