A Birr, Co Offaly, auctioneer was lured into handing over €7,000 to an internet agency which promised quick and easy money simply by following its stock trading tips, a judge heard today.
Barrister James Nerney, counsel for auctioneer Glen Corcoran, told the Circuit Civil Court his client had been promised in a brochure that he would “make money and achieve financial freedom”.
Mr Nerney said Corcoran, of Tumbeagh, Ballinahown, Co Offaly, had been promised a programme of training, education and coaching in profitably dealing on the stock market via its software package.
“The brochure had been followed up with phone calls and emails which had led to his entering into a contract in January last year,” Mr Nerney said.
Corcoran told Judge Jacqueline Linnane that following representations by John Lawlor, a manager with Acorn Wealth Strategies Limited, which trades as Share Success out of a Balbriggan, Co Dublin, industrial unit he “signed up and forwarded €6,990 by electronic transfer” to the company.
He said that in a cold call phone conversation Lawlor asked if he would like to make money and make it quickly with minimal time and effort. The company had promised him “a lucrative money making strategy as quickly as possible.”
He had been assured he would be trained in finding stock trading opportunities and forecasting market trends in a unique package which had turned out to be simply a licence agreement to deal in “contract for difference” opportunities and not hard physical share dealing.
“I wanted to make money and had been attracted to the original offer, Mr Corcoran said. “When I raised the matter of CFD’s with Mr Lawlor he said I could make money with them whether the economy was in boom or recession,” Mr Corcoran said.
He said the training he had been promised turned out to be two or three 10-minute on-line sessions a week with a Zac Harris.
Mr Corcoran said he had “fared fairly poorly” with his attempts to signalling financial movements in the market but had not reached the stage of investing further monies before contact and correspondence with Share Success had dried up.
He had later told Harris and Lawlor of his disappointment and lack of progress and had sought reimbursement of his money before going to James Lucey, his solicitor, who issued proceedings in November last.
Judge Linnane granted Mr Corcoran judgment for €6,990 against Acorn Wealth Strategies Limited, trading as Share Success, Unit 12, Balbriggan Enterprise and Training Centre, Stephenstown Industrial Park, Balbriggan, Co Dublin.
The defendant did not appear in court and a legal firm which had been representing the company was allowed to come off record for them.
After the case Mr Corcoran said he hoped his case would highlight “this poor business practice” to anyone else who may have dealings with the defendant.