The death in tragic circumstances of Paul Kelly on Sunday night came as authorities were preparing to bring charges against the Console founder.
Kelly was expected to appear in court in the coming weeks after a three-and-a-half year investigation into the former suicide bereavement charity was finally wrapped up by the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement (ODCE). But his passing means we may never get answers for the huge betrayal of public trust he presided over.
The length of the inquiry has meant the scandal has faded somewhat in the public memory. So it is worth remembering the seismic impact it had on the charity sector.
Kelly resigned in June 2016 after lavish spending and breaches of Revenue Commissioners rules were exposed. It is thought as much as €600,000 in funds is at the centre of the ODCE probe.
The sector was already reeling from the controversies at the Rehab Group and the Central Remedial Clinic.
But these paled in comparison with what emerged at Console, where State money and donations were used to fund the extravagant lifestyles of Kelly and members of his family.
Multiple credit cards, expensive foreign travel, restaurants and designer clothing were all features of the scandal.
In court papers, David Hall, brought in as an interim CEO before the charity was liquidated, said the case involved "a tactical and considered web of deceit" and "the prolonged abuse of public trust and public monies".
Within months of the revelations, umbrella group The Wheel was reporting one in three charities had experienced a drop in income.
The scandal also prompted the government of the day to finally commence laws giving the Charities Regulator stronger investigative and enforcement powers - a full seven years after the legislation was initially passed.
What emerged was all the more remarkable as just two years before Kelly had received a People of the Year Award for his work with the charity.
Kelly, from Ballyfermot in Dublin, set up Console in 2002. He said he was motivated to do so after losing his 21-year-old sister Sharon to suicide in 1997 and finding there was a paucity of counselling services for the bereaved.
Although it initially started as a support group, Console grew rapidly.
Within a decade, it had counselling centres in Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Galway, Wexford, Tralee and Mayo. Not long afterwards it opened one in London for Irish emigrants.
By the time it was liquidated, Console had 12 full-time staff, 60 part-time counsellors and 376 people attending counselling.
Another remarkable feature of the scandal was it took so long for Kelly to be rumbled. He had a strange past and his trustworthiness was in doubt. For example, in 1983 he was caught using fake credentials to pose as a doctor at the Royal City of Dublin Hospital in Baggot Street.
He managed to avoid a conviction, receiving the benefit of the Probation Act when the matter came to court. At other times he posed as a priest and an airline pilot.
The HSE, which gave the charity €2.5m for counselling services in the five years before its demise, failed to deal adequately with complaints received as far back as 2009.
An audit uncovered abuses by Kelly in early 2016, but the HSE was slow to react. It was only after an 'RTÉ Investigates' report that June that Kelly resigned. His wife Patricia Kelly also stood down as a director.
The television report revealed that, when applying for State grants, the charity on several occasions altered accounts to omit the reference to directors' pay and other benefits. These amounts totalled €200,000 in the accounts filed by Console for the years 2010 to 2012.
The payments were not permitted under Revenue requirements for charities and were also prohibited by the company's own memorandum of association. Revenue rules requiring officers, trustees and directors not be related to each other were also flouted.
In documents submitted to funders, the charity also claimed as board members people who did not hold those positions.
One of these was former senator Jillian Van Turnhout, who was stunned to learn her name had been used. Then came the revelations of extravagant spending.
Around €500,000 was spent on salaries and cars over a three-year period. But this massive figure would be dwarfed by its credit card spending. Between 2012 and 2014, some €736,000 was spent using 20 Console credit cards.
Eleven were held by Kelly, his wife Patricia and son Tim, who worked in the London office, accounting for €464,777 in spending.
Two of the cards held by Kelly were in the name of a nun, who was a former employee. She was completely unaware of this.
The cards were used to pay for expensive trips to Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Italy, France and England. Kelly made €28,785 in cash withdrawals, while €32,900 was spent on restaurants, €8,377 on clothing and €2,083 on Rugby World Cup tickets.
The Mercedes he drove cost €57,000, while his wife had a €67,000 Audi. Kelly also owned the family home in Clane, Co Kildare and Console's office in nearby Celbridge and did so until he died. But his assets and those of his wife were the subject of High Court freezing orders.
After he resigned, a forensic accountant uncovered even further evidence he had used charity money to fund his family's lifestyle.
According to court papers, the accountant found that in 2015 four company credit cards were used to pay bills totalling €203,000 for household shopping, Netflix, flights, Airbnb costs and the Local Property Tax. A card in the name of Patricia Kelly racked up spending of €35,298. This included €3,320 in ATM withdrawals, the payment of a €749 Local Property Tax bill and €1,260 on car repairs.
Their son Tim, described in court as "the link" between Console and a similarly named UK charity, racked up credit card bills totalling €63,752. A fourth credit card, in the name of the nun, accounted for €62,664 in spending in 2015.
Court papers revealed how, even after his resignation, Kelly continued efforts to conceal what had been going on.
He claimed to have handed over all relevant material, but a search of a lock-up in Naas, Co Kildare, uncovered 300 hanging folders for filing cabinets, 30 desk folders, 50 ring-binders, a Dell laptop; 25 cheque books, a petty cash box, 40 keys, a briefcase and numerous CDs. It provided further evidence of his activities.
As the liquidation continued and the ODCE stepped in, civil proceedings by the former charity against Kelly and his wife and son have continued.
Following his death it remains to be seen what happens in this case, which is due back before the courts in May.