'Late Late' poker player must give up €36,000 in crime cash
A PROFESSIONAL poker player who was feted on 'The Late Late Show' has lost €36,000 that he claimed was his after a judge ruled the cash was derived from the proceeds of crime.
Paul Carr (33) won €312,600 when he came second at the No Limit Texas hold 'em Paddy Power Irish Open tournament three years ago.
During his 2010 success, he managed to beat off competition from retired soccer stars Teddy Sheringham and Tony Cascarino along with former Leinster rugby player, Reggie Corrigan and snooker legend, Ken Doherty.
Carr – with an address at Varty Avenue, Raheen, Limerick – openly celebrated the success with friends, including well-known Limerick criminal Kieran 'Rashers' Ryan and also appeared on 'The Late Late Show' days later, where he was interviewed by Ryan Tubridy.
However, on May 2, 2011, gardai found €36,000 in a bedroom wardrobe in a house on the Old Cratloe Road, Limerick during a drugs search.
Carr, who has 23 previous convictions, later presented himself to gardai claiming the money was his and that he had given it to a friend to mind as he had no bank account.
However, the €300,000 plus that he won in the poker competition was lodged into a bank account in his name, Limerick Circuit Criminal Court heard previously. Carr claimed he was known to have large amounts of money and feared he would be a target for theft and that is why he had given it to a friend. It was the State's case that the €36,000 seized was the proceeds of crime.
Yesterday, Judge Tom O'Donnell said he was "satisfied on the balance of probabilities" that the cash "is the proceeds of crime and should be forfeited to the State".
The judge made no order for costs but said that in the event of an appeal, €4,000 from the money could be used to pay for Carr's legal team.
The court has also heard there may be another application for the forfeiture of a further €244,330 in seized cash, which Carr also claims is his.
Last January, Carr was fined €2,500 and banned from driving for four years after he drove through Limerick city after having taken cocaine.
A month after Carr's poker success in 2010, his close associate Kieran 'Rashers' Ryan was caught with a Browning semi-automatic pistol and 15 rounds of 9mm ammunition.
By Barry Duggan