Sunday 23 July 2017

PSNI 'counterfeit' cosmetics probe snared socialite

Over 40 people, many of whom attended Jody Walshe’s sentence hearing at the Circuit Criminal Court, provided testimonials in favour of the former general manager of Nevinar Cosmetics
Over 40 people, many of whom attended Jody Walshe’s sentence hearing at the Circuit Criminal Court, provided testimonials in favour of the former general manager of Nevinar Cosmetics
Gavin McLoughlin

Gavin McLoughlin

A well-known Dublin businessman and socialite who stole Clarins cosmetic products with a retail value of €725,000 was investigated by gardai after the PSNI arrested a man in Northern Ireland on suspicion of selling counterfeit cosmetics.

Last Thursday Joseph Walshe (49), also known as Jody Walshe, was sentenced to two-and-a-half years with the final year suspended by Judge Pauline Codd.

More than 40 people, many of whom attended Walshe's sentence hearing at Dublin's Circuit Criminal Court, provided testimonials in favour of the former general manager of Nevinar Cosmetics. Nevinar is a major cosmetics distributor set up in Ireland 30 years ago by the now 87-year-old businessman Jerry Hickey, the main witness in Walshe's 12-day trial.

Nevinar had acquired the exclusive distribution rights for Clarins products in Ireland, the court heard.

The court heard testimonials had been written by individuals working for IDA Ireland, Core Consulting, and a number of charitable organisations.

The Sunday Independent has learned that gardai investigated Walshe after the PSNI arrested a man at a market in Northern Ireland on suspicion of selling counterfeit Clarins beauty products.

However, it is understood the PSNI inquiry did not proceed after a senior executive from Clarins travelled to the North and confirmed that the products were not fake.

Barrister Anne Rowland, prosecuting, told the court that Walshe had been convicted of 10 counts of theft in April. The offences were committed between November 2009 and December 2011, during which time Walshe was general manager of Nevinar and was responsible for the control of stock. The court heard he would order certain amounts of stock to be released from the warehouse and sell this stock to a UK-based businessman, who would pay for the products by transferring money into Walshe's personal bank account.

Walshe - of Carrickmines Dale, Carrickmines Wood, Dublin - would order the stock to be released under procedures used to liberate stock for marketing or training purposes, or for the removal of faulty stock. The court heard that he had made orders that were significantly in excess of normal levels.

The 10 counts on which Walshe was convicted saw him receive just over €200,000 for products with a retail value of more than €725,000. The company had paid some €181,500 for the products.

Walshe's barrister, John D Fitzgerald, said his client accepted the verdict.

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