Former junior minister Ivor Callely has appeared in court charged with six fraud offences for allegedly making false claims for mobile phones while a serving politician.
The former TD and Senator, who has been at the centre of an investigation over expenses claims for at least two years, was granted bail at a brief hearing in the Dublin District Court.
Callely is charged with submitting bogus invoices for mobile phone handsets over the course of three years. The offences date from November 2007, February 2008 and September to December 2009.
No plea was entered and Callely, 54, was bailed to appear again at the District Court on April 25. The former Fianna Fail representative, who lives at St Lawrence Road, Clontarf, north Dublin was arrested at his office in nearby Killester on Friday morning.
If convicted, Callely could face a fine or up to 10 years in prison. He is charged under Section 26 of the Theft and Fraud Offences Act 2001.
Callely is accused of using false invoices submitted to Leinster House officials in a bid to claim the cost of new mobile phone handsets while a member of the Oireachtas. As a member of the parliament he was entitled under a direct purchase of mobile phones scheme to buy handsets and claim expenses for them with vouched receipts.
Dressed in a navy suit jacket with an open-collared blue shirt, Callely looked relaxed during the court proceedings, presided over by Judge Patricia McNamara. He leaned back on a court seat with one leg crossed over the other and arms folded, as he glanced around the room.
Detective Garda Adrian Kelly, of the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation, told the court that Callely made no reply to any of the six charges put to him at Clontarf Garda Station following his arrest at 9.50am on Friday morning. The former politician did not speak during the court proceedings.
Four of Callely's six charges relate to invoices submitted in November 2007 from a company named Business Communications Limited. They were dated January 2002, July 2003, January 2005 and July 2006.
A fifth invoice, submitted between February and April 2008, came from In-Tech Ireland Limited. It was dated February 2008. A sixth, submitted between September and December 2009, was from Allstat Limited, dated September 2009.