Sunday 25 February 2018

Sentencing adjourned for car dealer who evaded VRT on high-end vehicles

Conor Gallagher 

A CAR dealer who evaded paying €86,500 tax on high end vehicles has had his sentencing adjourned to allow for a psychological report.

Counsel for Lee Cullen (41) also told Dublin Circuit Criminal Court that he aims to pay back the State by selling a property in Spain and asked for time to find a buyer.

Cullen of Starwood, Coolmine, Saggart, pleaded guilty to evading Vehicle Registration Tax on seven Range Rovers at the Vehicle Registration Office, Main Street, Tallaght between February 13, 2006 and March 29, 2007. He had originally denied the charges but changed his plea before trial.

Judge Patrick McCartan agreed to put the matter back for an updated report and remanded Cullen on continuing bail until November.

Cullen’s defence counsel Hugh Hartnett SC applied for the adjournment, telling the judge that the State accepts that his client “is on his knees.”

He said he has been unable to repay the money since pleading guilty to the offences in November of last year because of his mental health difficulties and the economic situation.

However Mr Hartnett added the Cullen “was once a rich man” and still owns a house in Spain which he hopes to sell for €70-80,000 despite the poor housing market in that country. He said this money will be used to compensate the State.

Counsel also said Cullen has spent a month in residential care and requested time for a mental health report to be prepared.

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