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Thursday 22 February 2018

Company accounts throw doubt on Mick Wallace’s story

Eimear Ni Bhraonain and Fionnan Sheahan

FRESH contradictions have emerged in tax cheat Mick Wallace's explanation of the money paid to him and his son from his struggling building firm.

The Wexford TD claimed yesterday that he didn't double the money paid to himself and his son from his company even as it began to hit financial difficulties that left it unable to pay its full VAT bill.

However, his version of events is directly contradicted by the company's accounts.

Company records show that M&J Wallace paid the TD and his son Sasha, the only directors, €290,000 for the year ended August 2008, when it made a €2.6m loss. Their pay was up from €148,141 a year earlier.

Mr Wallace linked the fee increase to a third director being added to the company.

However, this third director, Mr Wallace's other son, Fionn, did not join as a director until the following financial year.

Company records show that Fionn Wallace, with an address at his father's home in Clontarf, Dublin, was a director of the company from September 8, 2008 to July 27, 2010.

Mr Wallace was asked yesterday why the directors' fees were doubled at a time when the company was in trouble.

The Independent TD said the year in question was August 2007 to September 2008 and that the underdeclaration of VAT was made in January 2009.

He continued: "What no one has noticed is that directors went from two to three in the company that year.

"So of the €290,000, €98,000 was paid in PAYE and PRSI. That left €190,000 between three directors.

"Now, if you think that €63,000 per director for a company the size of Wallace Construction was exorbitant, I'd like to compare it to any other company.

"If you look at the money the following year, you'll find they were much, much lower. I never, ever took money out of that company and put it away, ever.

Directors

"It was not a double salary, it was a triple -- there was an extra director," he said on South East Radio.

"I'm saying that of the total €290,000, €98,000 was paid in PAYE and PRSI. That meant an average of €63,000 per director.

"For a company the size of Wallace Construction, if there's anything illegal in anything I've done, it's being dealt with by the proper legal authorities."

Mr Wallace was unavailable for comment last night.

Nevertheless, he has left further questions as his explanation is contradicted by official records showing that there were only two directors in the year ended August 2008 -- before Fionn Wallace joined as a director.

Records show M&J Wallace Ltd paid Mr Wallace and his son Sasha almost €290,000 for the year to August 31, 2008.

The massive increase in directors' payments from M&J Wallace is revealed in the last accounts filed, covering the year to the end of August 2008.

No breakdown of how the pair shared the payments is given and the 'remuneration' is not split into sections.

The payments were made before Mr Wallace's tax issues arose, but they came at a time when his company was clearly in decline.

When he revealed his tax problems last month, Mr Wallace admitted that things had begun to turn sour in 2007 and that he was forced to stop work on a project in July 2008.

Irish Independent

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