Tuesday 21 May 2019

Gilligan laundered £1.5m by gambling, court told

Fergus Black

CONVICTED drug dealer John Gilligan laundered an estimated £1.5m through his betting activities over a two-and-half-year period and put the money into family properties for himself and his children, a court heard yesterday.

Gilligan claims he was a successful gambler and that any wealth he built up resulted from his gambling and other business interests and was not the proceeds of crime.

But yesterday, a forensic accountant for the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) said that Gilligan's figures didn't add up and estimated that he had laundered £1.5m through the betting process between 1994 and 1996.

This went into properties in Jessbrook, near Enfield, Co Meath, and properties for his son and daughter, Darren and Treacy.

Gilligan, who is serving a 20-year jail sentence for drugs offences, is waging a High Court battle to prevent the CAB from taking properties first frozen by the bureau 14 years ago.

He claims his properties were funded through gambling and cannot be classed as the proceeds of crime.

The accountant, who remained anonymous, yesterday told the High Court he based his conclusions on the records supplied by five bookmakers.

Earlier this week, the court was told of a cat-and-mouse game with the bookies as Gilligan sought to place bets without being identified as the punter.


"This is where the cat caught the mouse," the accountant said in reference to the records.

"This is where they recognise the bets belonging to John Gilligan and I have relied on that for my analysis."

He rejected suggestions that his analysis "leaned" towards the CAB.

The witness also insisted that, to his knowledge, Gilligan was provided with copies of all the documentation, that an accountant was appointed to him in the late 1990s and was allowed to examine documents in the CAB offices.

Counsel for Gilligan claimed an examination of the betting slips by his client showed he had made a betting profit of more than £270,000 during the period being examined.

But the witness said the totals were "fundamentally flawed" and the bets he referred to only related to two of the five bookmakers examined.

The hearing continues.

Irish Independent

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