Monday 19 March 2018

Accountant to meet charity over 'missing' €161,000 in funds

The charity now owes the Revenue Commissioners €72,500 Stock photo
The charity now owes the Revenue Commissioners €72,500 Stock photo
Shane Phelan

Shane Phelan

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

Greg Walsh consented to orders sought in the High Court by Carline Learning Centre, a State-funded charity in west Dublin that provides 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 in 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 be 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 yesterday, Carline's barrister, Eamon Marray, said Mr Walsh had given undertakings to co-operate with the charity. Mr Justice Paul Gilligan heard that documentation had been submitted by the Revenue Commissioners, confirming the 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 it 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, Dublin, has yet to comment on the allegations.

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 had been discovered that Revenue liabilities had not been paid.

Mr McKernan said the investigation revealed "serious irregularities".

Irish Independent

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