ODCE beefs up its investigations unit
The Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement (ODCE) said yesterday that it hopes to have six forensic accountants in place by the end of the summer.
In a move to beef up its investigations unit as the ODCE continues its strategic shift to investigate more serious 'white collar' crime, the ODCE said three of the forensic accountants or investigators have started work at the office in recent weeks. An ODCE spokesman said: "There is plenty of work for the three to do and we would hope to have three more in place by the end of the summer."
The spokesman added: "The work they do is critically important in investigating white collar crime."
In the ODCE's 2015 annual report, director Ian Drennan said that the appointment of the forensic accountants will greatly enhance the office's capacity to advance its investigations.
The new group of accountants will join with the six Gardai on secondment from the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation in investigating suspicions of 'white collar' crime.
The 2015 report shows that at the end of last year, the ODCE had 18 individuals and companies under investigation with a view of referring matters to the DPP.
According to Mr Drennan, in addition to the 18 individuals under investigation, one file was referred to the DPP and one case was before the courts.
The figures show that the number of complaints made by members of the public to the ODCE last year increased by 23pc from 236 in 2014 to 290.
A breakdown of the complaints show that 75 related to directors' conduct with 24 relating to allegations of forgery and furnishing of false information.
A further 20 related to claims of reckless/fraudulent/insolvent trading.