Saturday 3 December 2016

Treasurer agrees to meet teen charity over claims he misappropriated €161,000

Shane Phelan Legal Affairs Editor

Published 07/07/2016 | 11:50

Carline Treasurer Greg Walsh
Carline Treasurer Greg Walsh

An accountant alleged to have misappropriated €161,000 of a charity’s funds has agreed to meet its representatives in the coming days.

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Greg Walsh consented to orders sought in the High Court by Carline Learning Centre, a State-funded charity in west Dublin providing supports for disadvantaged teenagers.

The charity’s chairman, John McKernan, has claimed in an affidavit that cheques amounting to €161,000 were paid to Mr Walsh’s business and two other entities unrelated to Carline throughout 2014.

Mr Walsh was the charity’s treasurer at the time and was trusted to deal with its accounts and pay its bills.

Some of the cash had been supposed to the used to meet PAYE and PRSI obligations.

But these went unpaid, said Mr McKernan, and the charity now owes the Revenue Commissioners €72,500.

When the matter came before the High Court this morning, Carline’s barrister, Eamon Marray, said matters had moved on and Mr Walsh had given undertakings to cooperate with the charity.

Mr Justice Paul Gilligan heard documentation had been submitted by the Revenue Commissioners confirming amounts owed to it.

Mr Walsh has agreed to give undertakings in relation to six orders Carline had sought in a notice of motion to the court.

These include that he return all monies in his possession which are the property of the charity, that he disclose the whereabouts of the charity funds he allegedly diverted and misappropriated, and that he not impede the charity in its efforts to recover those funds.

He also agreed to furnish the charity with all documentation in his possession relating to the diverted money and not to dissipate his assets below €250,000.

A meeting between Mr Walsh and Carline’s auditors is set to take place in the coming days.

The matter will return to the court next week.

On Wednesday, counsel for Carline was given permission to serve proceedings on Mr Walsh at short notice.

The charity, which receives over €500,000-a-year from State bodies and has offices in Lucan, submitted a complaint to gardaí the previous day.

Mr Walsh, with an address in Chapelizod, has yet to comment on the allegations against him.

Mr McKernan’s affidavit said concerns about financial irregularities stretching back to 2014 surfaced in May and June of this year.

He said “a limited investigation” was carried out after it was discovered Revenue liabilities had not been paid.

Mr McKernan said the investigation “revealed what can only be described as serious irregularities in certain books and records”.

It was discovered that entries in the stubs of the charity’s cheque book which indicated cheques had been drawn down in favour of the Revenue in fact related to cheques paid to Mr Walsh’s company.

When challenged on the issue, Mr Walsh wrote to the charity on June 14 saying that accounts were up to date.

But Mr McKernan’s affidavit said Mr Walsh failed to offer any credible explanation.

It described a letter written by Mr Walsh as “a work of fiction which was not in any way substantiated by paperwork and figures to hand”.

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