Sunday 16 December 2018

Convicted fraudster Breifne O’Brien declared bankrupt

Breifne O'Brien
Breifne O'Brien

Aodhan O Faolain

The High Court has adjudicated convicted fraudster Breifne O’Brien as being a bankrupt.

 In 2014 the former businessman was given a seven year prison sentence, which he is currently serving, for inducing others to advance millions of euro to him for investment in bogus property deals.

 O'Brien with an address at Monkstown Grove, Monkstown, Co Dublin, had pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to 14 sample counts of making a gain or causing a loss by deception or theft of around €8.5 million between 2003 and 2008.

 He was sentenced to seven years imprisonment by Judge Patricia Ryan on October 8th, 2014.  Last December his appeal against the length of that prison term was dismissed by the Court of Appeal.

 Monday, at the High Court O'Brein was adjudicated as being a bankrupt by Ms Justice Caroline Costello. 

 Mr O'Brien was present in court for what was a short application, and was one of several people adjudicated bankrupt.

 It is understood O'Brien owes some €40m to his creditors.

 Barrister Keith Farry Bl for O'Brien said his client was seeking to be declared bankrupt on his own petition. Counsel also told the court Mr O'Brien's solicitor Mr Alan McGee would liaise with the official in charge of bankruptcy the Official Assignee Mr Chris Lehane.  

 The Judge said she was satisfied to adjudicate O'Brien as a bankrupt.

 She said after considering his application he would not have to file any additional statement of affairs.

 However he would have to advertise the adjudication on the Insolvency Service of Ireland's website and in Iris Oifigiuil, the official gazette of the government of Ireland, the Judge also directed.

 Two years ago Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard O'Brien had dishonestly induced five people to advance millions of euro to him to invest in bogus property deals in Manchester, Paris and Hamburg. O'Brien also got them to invest money in a bogus linen shipping insurance scheme.

 His actions were described as a classic pyramid scheme.

 The Criminal Court also heard he used money from friends and acquaintances for investment in property and businesses in Ireland and abroad for himself, including an apartment in Barbados, and to buy a car for his wife. Very little of the money invested had been recovered, the criminal court also heard.

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