Tuesday 16 July 2019

Car dealer being pursued for millions by Revenue hit with charges after stolen vehicles probe

John Alex Kane: Being pursued for millions of euro by the Revenue. Photo: Kyran O'Brien
John Alex Kane: Being pursued for millions of euro by the Revenue. Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Shane Phelan

Shane Phelan

A car dealer being pursued for millions of euro by the Revenue Commissioners has been charged with forgery, possession of stolen vehicles and criminal damage.

John Alex Kane (45) appeared in court on eight charges following an investigation by gardaí.

An associate, Tomasz Zieba (22), was also charged in connection with the investigation, which related to motor vehicles and tractors.

Both men appeared at Longford District Court last Friday .

Details of the criminal charges emerged as Mr Kane faces the prospect of being jailed tomorrow over his alleged interference in the work of a Revenue-appointed receiver, Myles Kirby.

A contempt application is set to be heard in the High Court amid allegations Mr Kane has been directing a campaign of intimidation and interference which is hampering the sale of properties by the receiver.

Revenue secured a judgment for €4.97m against Mr Kane in 2009 in connection with the non-payment of taxes on car sales. Mr Kirby was appointed in 2017 in a bid to recoup at least some of the money owed.

On Friday, Longford District Court heard Mr Kane, of Cartron, near Granard, Co Longford, was facing three charges of forgery.

It is alleged that on three occasions between February 1 and April 1, 2017 Mr Kane made a false instrument in relation to the details of a vehicle purchase.

The vehicles in question were an Isuzu D-Max, a Toyota Hilux and a Land Rover Discovery.

Mr Kane was also charged with criminal damage to the Toyota Hilux some time between February 27 and March 14, 2018 at his Rathcronin Motors premises in Granard.

He was further charged with three counts of possessing stolen property, namely a John Deere 6220 tractor, valued at €22,000, on January 8, 2018; the Toyota Hilux, valued at €12,000, on March 14, 2018; and a New Holland TM155 tractor worth €19,750 on April 17 last year.

Mr Kane was also charged with inducing a person to purchase the stolen John Deere tractor for €25,500 on January 8, 2018.

Meanwhile, Mr Zieba, of Burrow Road, Derrylin, Co Fermanagh, was charged with five offences, including the same three charges of forgery faced by Mr Kane.

He was also charged with possession of the stolen John Deere tractor and deceiving someone into buying it.

Both men were bailed to appear again next month.

The charges are unrelated to the case being heard in the High Court.

Last April, the president of the High Court, Mr Justice Peter Kelly, warned Mr Kane he was at "grave risk" of being jailed for contempt over allegedly giving the Revenue the "runaround". Mr Kane has previously been jailed for contempt twice, but denies interfering with the receiver's work.

His latest contempt hearing had been due to take place last week but was adjourned after he produced a sick note. His brother Seamus Kane is also facing contempt proceedings, having only been released from a period behind bars for contempt last December. Mr Justice Kelly ordered Seamus Kane's arrest last week after he failed to appear in court.

In an affidavit, Seamus Kane admitted breaching an undertaking not to enter lands being sold by the receiver, but claimed he was "not in my sane or right state of mind" when he did so. The court heard he conducted topping of grass at a parcel of land known as Willsbrook.

Mr Kirby alleges this, and other incursions on land he is attempting to sell, are crude attempts to demonstrate to locals and prospective purchasers that the lands were still under the control of the Kane family.

The court previously heard how a prospective buyer was threatened by Seamus Kane that any animals put on the land would be shot and the buyer's home burnt down.

Irish Independent

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