Sunday 24 February 2019

House, apartment, and €72,000 are proceeds of crime, High Court rules

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Tim Healy

THE High Court has ruled that a Dublin house with a jacuzzi, sauna, and bulletproof windows, an apartment in Bulgaria, and around €72,000 in cash are the proceeds of crime.

The Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) claimed the properties were beneficially owned by alleged illegal drug-trafficker Jason Boyle, but were registered in the names of his parents Laurance (Larry) and Rosaleen Boyle to conceal their son's involvement.

The Boyles opposed the application and rejected CAB's claims the assets were acquired in part or in full by monies derived from Jason Boyle who denies he is involved in trafficking drugs.

On Thursday Mr Justice Carmel Stewart said she was satisfied the assets were acquired with, or are, the proceeds of crime.

Following the ruling, the Boyles said they would appeal the decision.

In 2016, CAB secured freezing orders under the Proceeds of Crime Act against the Boyles  over a three bedroom house located at Casement Drive, Finglas, Dublin, worth approximately €250,000,  and where Jason Boyle lives.

An apartment at Royal Dreams, Sunny Beach, Bulgaria, was also frozen as well as €72,000 cash was found in plastic wrapping during a search conducted by the Gardai of Laurence and Rosaleen Boyle's home at Coolebrook Cottages, Finglas West, Dublin in November 2016.

The court heard the money had been buried in the garden of another property that was previously owned by the couple before they moved it to their current home.

Jason Boyle, who denies being a drug trafficker and described the allegations as a "defamation of character " and "a slander", did not make a claim in respect of the assets.

Larry Boyle claimed the assets were acquired through his savings over ten years from his business. He claimed to have kept the cash buried for reasons including that he did not trust banks after being refused a loan.

They also claimed that the property at Casement Drive was acquired for €70,000 in 2013 with a €60,000 loan from Mrs Boyle's father.

He said the apartment was acquired from an associate in exchange for €7,000 plus a jeep.

It was CAB's case that Jason Boyle, who received a ten-year prison sentence in the UK in 2004 for armed robbery, was heavily involved in illegal drug trafficking.

He was the beneficial owner of the properties,  Michael Binchy BL, for CAB, said.

He had no known income other than social welfare payments since his release from prison and yet had lived a lifestyle well beyond his known legitimate means.

Counsel said it is CABs case that Jason Boyle lived in the house at Casement Drive, which had been extensively renovated after it was purchased.

He had one of the bedrooms converted into a walk-in closet, had a jacuzzi and a sauna installed, had purchased high-end electronics including a 65-inch tv, a surround sound system.

The kitchen had also been extended and bulletproof glass had also been installed.  CAB also claimed Jason Boyle had owned high-end motor vehicles and had €17,000 worth of dental work carried out.

Noting Larry and Rosaleen Boyle's claims in respect of the assets, counsel said that it was accepted they had been advanced a loan by Mrs Boyle's father for the purchase of the property.

However their income over the last number of years was very modest and its is CAB's case that they could not account for the renovation works, the purchase of the apartment, or the cash found by Gardai. 

The Judge in making the orders against the Boyles said the explanations they gave about where the assets had come from were "unacceptable."  

In particular, she said, in an interview with the Gardai after the cash was seized Larry Boyle said he believed the total amount was around €50,000.

This, the Judge said, was some €20,000 to €25,000 less than the actual amount recovered.

In and around the same time, a member of the Boyle family had brought approximately €4,000 worth of water damaged notes to the Central Bank.

The matter will be mentioned before the court next month.

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