Monday 16 July 2018

McGeever blames victims for Dubai flats 'rip-off'

McGeever belittles Irish investors in statement

CLAIMS: Kevin McGeever. Photo: David Conachy
CLAIMS: Kevin McGeever. Photo: David Conachy
Maeve Sheehan

Maeve Sheehan

The property developer who has been accused of double-selling apartments to unsuspecting Irish investors has added insult to injury by blaming them for not finalising their sales.

Kevin McGeever claimed that he "checked himself out" of a medical clinic where he was being treated for "shocking" blood pressure in order to "correct the record" on Dubai.

McGeever became a media sensation when he was found wandering the roads in Leitrim, claiming that he had been kidnapped and held captive for eight months.

His bizarre story prompted a garda investigation but after wasting 3,000 hours of their time at a cost of €86,851, he admitted making it all up. He got a suspended sentence for making false statements a fortnight ago in Galway.

An RTE documentary broadcast after his conviction accused McGeever of double-selling apartments and selling apartments that he didn't own and traced his dubious business activities across three continents.

One investor, Kevin Cooke, who signed up to buy eight apartments for which he paid in instalments, is suing McGeever for €835,000.

Another investor, Jim Byrne, secured a €1m judgement against McGeever after paying him €633,000 to buy four apartments - one of which he later learned had been sold to someone else.

This weekend, McGeever presented this newspaper with a prepared statement which he entitled "the Dubai Property Disaster", in which he belittled Irish investors, accusing them of being "a nightmare" and of failing to meet their repayments on their investments.

In his statement, McGeever said he first went to Dubai in 2001. Later, he bought "French-style studio apartments" off plans. He sold the lot off to a Pakistani investor.

A few years later, he started selling to Irish investors. He said he sold 127 units to Irish, 10 were finished and paid in full and the other 117 cancelled and were paid back. All of this coincided with the property crash.

"When the Irish started requesting refunds, we consulted our legal advisors in Dubai. They were totally against this. Anyone who fails to make payments as per the payments plan is not entitled to a refund."

McGeever claimed that he decided "against legal advice" to give them refunds and resold the studio apartments, at a loss to the local market.

He said he sold 50 commercial floors but all of the sales were cancelled. Not one sale was finalised.

"If all of the residential and commercial Irish clients had finalised their sales, all would be great. Sadly the opposite happened," he said.

McGeever was indicted by the FBI in connection for a fraudulent banking investment and an international warrant for his arrest was issued. He was later held for extradition in Germany.

The Criminal Assets Bureau has been investigating McGeever's financial affairs for the past three years.

Sunday Independent

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