Gardai finally seize €500,000 from drug lord and his children
GARDAI have made legal history by seizing almost €500,000 in assets from notorious drug trafficker Tony Felloni and two members of his family.
The High Court has finally given the go-ahead to gardai and the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) to confiscate the cash, which had been stashed away here, in Northern Ireland and in England.
The case involved the use of "ordinary" powers to seize assets under the Criminal Justice Act rather than the Proceeds of Crime Act, which was introduced after the setting up of the CAB.
It has been fought through the courts for the past 14 years after becoming one of the first cases to involve the CAB.
Tony Felloni (67), known as King Scum, is serving a 20-year sentence in Portlaoise Prison, imposed by the Dublin Circuit Court in June 1996 after he had pleaded guilty to a number of drug trafficking offences relating to the sale and supply of heroin with a street value of more than €444,000.
Felloni, who formerly had an address at Dominic Street in Dublin, subsequently appealed against the sentence. But his arguments were dismissed by the Court of Criminal Appeal in 1999.
He had 26 previous convictions, dating from 1959, including a 10-year sentence imposed in 1986 for drug trafficking.
He is due for release next year.
His son, Luigi Felloni (36), was sentenced to six years' imprisonment in June 1996 after pleading guilty to trafficking in heroin. He had 10 previous convictions, including three for the supply of drugs.
Daughter, Regina Felloni (34), was sentenced to six years and nine months in prison in June 1996 after she had also pleaded guilty to trafficking in heroin. She had seven previous convictions, including one for drugs supply.
Frank Cassidy, who is now legal officer to the CAB, was appointed as receiver and collected all of the assets he was aware of in this jurisdiction, including cash, the sale of a house and money in bank and building society accounts.
These amounted to €15,830 from Tony Felloni, €18,130 from his son and €253,170 from his daughter.
Mr Cassidy later identified a bail bond, which had been lodged on behalf of Tony Felloni and this bond, worth €27,000, was seized in October 2002.
Inquiries were also made outside the jurisdiction and resulted in money being identified in accounts in family members' names in five financial institutions in Belfast and one in Liverpool.
The Director of Public Prosecutions subsequently requested the authorities in Northern Ireland and England to enforce the confiscation order there by appointing a receiver to take possession of all realisable property.
Receivers Grant Thornton later confirmed they had collected a total of £122,970 in sterling in the North and £23,560 in England. This converted into a total of €171,000.
The overall worth of the assets seized from the three Fellonis amounted to €485,078.15.