Saturday 17 March 2018

Company director accused of €1.9m forestry investment fraud out on bail

Garret Hevey
Garret Hevey

Tom Tuite

A COMPANY director facing trial in connection with a €1.9m forestry investment fraud has been released on bail.

Businessman Garret Hevey (41) of Brookdene, Shankill, Co Dublin is charged with deception of £52,000stg and possessing €1.9m in crime proceeds.

His bail had been set in his own bond of €5,000 of which half had to be lodged in court.

Judge Michael Walsh had also sought an independent surety amounting to €20,000 of which €10,000 must be lodged.

He was remanded in custody on Tuesday and faced his second hearing today at Dublin District Court.

Judge Walsh heard Mr Hevey's father-in-law had been approved to act as the independent surety.

His solicitor also confirmed that his client has surrendered his passport.

Judge Walsh remanded him on bail to appear again on a date in April. Directions from the DPP need to be obtained.

Earlier, Det Inspector Cathrina Gunne of the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau said he made no reply after he was charged.

He is accused of deception by inducing Mr Kari Wahlstrum to pay him the sum of £52,000stg at Allied Irish Bank (AIB), Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin on Feb. 23 last year.

His second charge states it is alleged that on June 13 last year at AIB on George's  Street, in Dun Laoghaire he was in possession of €1,982,825 in crime proceeds, contrary  to the Money Laundering Terrorist Financing Act, which can carry a maximum 14-year sentence.

She told the court the defendant was a a director and shareholder in the firm Arden Forestry Management Ltd.

It was alleged the company investors, who are all based outside the State, transferred large sums to the AIB account and it appeared as if they were investing in a legitimate forestry business with legitimate folios, sites and timber certificates.

It was alleged investors were provided with false documentation.

Objecting to bail she said it was also alleged he used an alias and that there were false management contracts.

Judge Walsh agreed to set bail terms after he noted that married father-of-one Mr Hevey has lived at his home for the past nine years and there is a mortgage on the property.

He must reside at his home address, not to apply for a new passport, be contactable always via mobile phone, have no contact directly or indirectly with alleged injured parties and sign on three times a week at his local Garda station.

On Tuesday, co-accused, UK national David Piele (40) a father-of-two with an address at Rectory Way, Bray, Co Wicklow appeared at Dun Laoghaire District Court and was granted bail.

He is solely charged with deception of Kari Wahlstrom of £52,000stg at AIB, Dun Laoghaire on February 23 last year.

He will face his next court hearing on March 21.

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