Monday 27 January 2020

Father of Dublin hair tycoon pleads guilty to €100k tax evasion

Supermodel Gigi Hadid is just one of Shane O’Sullivan’s celebrity customers
Supermodel Gigi Hadid is just one of Shane O’Sullivan’s celebrity customers

Declan Brennan

THE father of a Dublin man behind a multi-million euro hair extension company has pleaded guilty to evasion of €100,000 in tax.

John O'Sullivan (54) filed tax returns in 2009 which failed to declare money he made from selling two properties on Dublin's North Strand Road in 2007. He also admitted three charges of failing to make income tax returns for 2009, 2010 and 2011.

The former hairdresser's son, Shane O'Sullivan, is the owner of Easilocks, a hair extension company that has projected a turnover of €5 million for this year.

John Fitzgerald BL, defending, told Dublin Circuit Criminal Court that his client was now working for his son's company. He provided Judge John Aylmer with a folder detailing the many celebrity endorsements of the hair extension product and features from fashion magazines Vogue and Cosmopolitan.

Counsel said his client had not taken on any responsibilities for the tax affairs of Easilocks, whose turnover grew from €700,000 in 2013 to €1.9million in 2014.

The court heard that the total of the back income taxes and capital gains tax was €299,658. O'Sullivan, of The Grove, Hunter's Run, Clonee, Dublin has paid back €92,3921, leaving an outstanding debt of €207,267.

He has nine previous convictions, all for failing to make income tax returns. In 2003 he was fined €2,856 at Dunshaughlin District Court for not making returns between 1995 and 2000.

He has been making regular monthly repayments of €4,330, counsel said.

O'Sullivan pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to knowingly or willingly delivering an incorrect return for 2007 and to evasion of payment of tax on June 30, 2009.

Counsel for O'Sullivan said that the father-of-six began buying and selling property during the boom but when this ended, his funds dried up very quickly.

Mr Fitzgerald said that money his client had put on the long finger to discharge his tax liabilities was suddenly no longer available to him.

He said the success of his son's company had resulted in a sudden and radical change in his client's financial circumstances and he asked the judge to allow his client to remain out on bail so he could continue to pay off his debt.

Judge John Aylmer agreed to do this and adjourned the sentence to October of next year. He said he would like to see an increase in the amount of the regular repayments by that time.

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