Car dealer who owes Revenue €5.2m in unpaid taxes fined for breach of court orders
A CAR dealer has been fined €25,000 for breach of High Court orders granted to the Revenue Commissioners.
Mr Justice Sean Ryan refused the Revenue's application to jail Co Longford-based car dealer, Pauraig Kane, who owes €5.2m in unpaid taxes, after finding there were various mitigating circumstances in his favour.
The judge said it was beyond a reasonable doubt Mr Kane had deliberately breached undertakings previously given to the court. However the breaches were to a relatively limited extent. This did not excuse such conduct but did reduce culpability.
It would not be just to order Mr Kane to serve a six month prison sentence imposed, but suspended, in 2012, the judge said.
However "it was necessary for the court to fix a penalty for offending behaviour that frustrated orders previously made by the court."
In the circumstances, he was imposing a €25,000 fine.
Revenue wanted the suspension on the prison sentence lifted.
It was imposed following an application by Revenue to jail Mr Kane, formerly one of the operators of Kane Motors of Granard, for being in contempt of court orders made in 2009.
Then Revenue claimed Mr Kane was part of an elaborate hoax whereby vehicles continued to be sold using falsified invoices and third party cheques to ensure they could not be traced to Mr Kane.
The court then made orders restraining Mr Kane from disposing of assets, mainly motor vehicles, present on the premises in Granard. In 2012 Mr Kane admitted breaching that order.
The High Court suspended the prison term on conditions including the Kane yard in Granard be cleared of all vehicles, other than those being dealt with by his wife in her business, and by Mr Kane in the course of his employment there.
Last July Revenue,returned to court and asked for the prison sentence to be imposed because of Mr Kane failure to comply with the conditions.
Counsel for Mr Kane opposed the application and denied Revenues' allegations his client deliberately breached the terms on which the sentence was suspended.