Wednesday 21 March 2018

Accountant who sued dentist for €50,000 in fees told judge he had to go through 41 offshore and local bank accounts

The court heard he would go from pillar to post to sort out what to him was a jig-saw puzzle.
The court heard he would go from pillar to post to sort out what to him was a jig-saw puzzle.

Ray Managh

An accountant who today sued a Dublin dentist for just under €50,000 in professional fees told a judge he had to navigate his way through 41 offshore and local bank accounts.

Barrister Jeananne McGovern said in the Circuit Civil Court that dentist Dr Brian Mulrean had employed accountants Keveney Monahan and Co, Earlsfort Terrace, Dublin, to prepare audit details for the Revenue Commissioners.

Ms McGovern, who appeared with solicitor John O’Connor for the firm of accountants, told Judge Jacqueline Linnane that Philip Monahan and Joseph Keveney were suing Dr Mulrean for fees totalling €47,953.

Mulrean in 2009 paid a tax settlement of €1,896,648 consisting of €771,033 in unpaid tax and penalties of €1,125,615.  The deal arose from under-declaration of income tax and capital gains and acquisitions tax following a Revenue offshore assets investigation.

Joseph Keveney told the court he had prepared Dr Mulrean’s business returns since the mid 1980’s until 2009 when he had dealt with an audit of Dr Mulrean’s affairs.

He personally charged €150 an hour and €110 an hour for the work of a qualified assistant.  He dealt with 41 bank accounts associated with Dr Mulrean, some in the Isle of Man and in Jersey.  He had not dealt with “that sort of thing before.”

Keveney told Ms McGovern he was “following a money trail” and understood his remit was to go through all bank accounts touching on receipts and payments he could not find any explanation for.

Most of the accounts were off-shore ones with regard to which he would do all the spadework before passing details on to others. He would go from pillar to post to sort out what to him was a jig-saw puzzle.

In 2008 he had invoiced Dr Mulrean for just under €48,000 and although receiving payments of €6,500 in 2009 and €5,000 in 2010 these were in relation to services provided to Dr Mulrean in 2007 and 2008.

He said that between 2004 and 2009 activity relating to Dr Mulrean’s practice and business affairs increased considerably and he had to chase up statements from different stockbrokers.  In 2010 relations with Dr Mulrean had become strained.

Keveney agreed with barrister Angus Buttanshaw, counsel for Dr Mulrean, that there had been a steady increase in his professional fees up until 2005 when there had been “a very substantial increase.”

He said Mr Philip Monahan, who had taken a less relaxed attitude to the collection of fees, had become involved in his practice in January 2007.  The level of activity in Dr Mulrean’s business increased considerably and he had to deal with “contracts for difference” and increased investment matters.

Following the lunch adjournment Ms McGovern told the court the case had settled.  Mr Buttanshaw said the terms of a confidential settlement included a direction by the court that in the event of non-payment there would be consent to judgment being entered against Dr Mulrean.

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