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Tycoon in fake kidnap plot gets €852k demand from financier


McGeever crosses O’Connell Street at the GPO in Dublin

McGeever crosses O’Connell Street at the GPO in Dublin

Kevin McGeever (sitting in car) is served a High Court summons

Kevin McGeever (sitting in car) is served a High Court summons


McGeever crosses O’Connell Street at the GPO in Dublin

FAKE kidnap tycoon Kevin McGeever received more bad news yesterday when he was served with a High Court demand for €852,000.

Kildare businessman Kevin Cooke claims that he invested the money with Mr McGeever as part of a major property deal in Dubai, which never materialised.

The pub owner from Caragh has been pursuing the 68-year-old former international developer for the money since before his "disappearance" last May.

He had the High Court summary summons served on Mr McGeever in Dublin yesterday.

An agent acting on behalf of Mr Cooke's legal team finally tracked down the elusive businessman in a city centre car park where the documents were handed to him.

The Irish Independent understands that this is the fourth High Court demand to be served on Mr McGeever by former investors since his property empire collapsed owing an estimated €15m.

He is also wanted by the authorities in Germany and Dubai for questioning over alleged property fraud.

On top of his financial woes, Mr McGeever is also facing charges for wasting police time and an investigation by the Criminal Assets Bureau.

Last month, the Mayo-born businessman admitted to gardai that he had staged the whole kidnap ruse to get former clients off his back.

Mr McGeever said he believed that the investors would leave him alone out of fear that they would be implicated in his "kidnapping".

In November, he went a step further when he hatched a devious plan to convince Mr Cooke that he was being held captive at an undisclosed location.

Mr Cooke was contacted by phone and instructed to go to Trim, Co Meath, if he wanted to meet Mr McGeever. When he got there he was ordered into the back of a van by two men and had a hood placed over his head.

He was then taken to a location where he found the former property tycoon sitting on a chair in a dimly lit room. Mr McGeever told his client that he was being held hostage.


After a short while, the hood was replaced on Mr Cooke's head and he was returned to Trim in the van.

Gardai are understood to have been investigating the incident when Mr McGeever suddenly appeared in a dishevelled and emaciated state on a country road in Co Leitrim in January.

As a result, the innocent businessman was arrested last month by gardai on the grounds that they suspected he had been involved in the scam.

Mr Cooke was released when detectives realised he was totally innocent and had been duped by Mr McGeever. In an interview with the 'Sunday Independent', Mr Cooke said that he also intended making an official complaint to the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation over the monies which were paid in instalments over a number of years since 2006.

He said he and a number of other investors first became suspicious of Mr McGeever when the property bubble burst in Dubai. "Things were bad in Dubai. I don't remember exactly what he (Mr McGeever) said to me but I do remember him saying that I would get my money back.

"He had it invested in oil in Nigeria and when the oil prices came up, crude oil came to a certain level price wise, he would have lots of money and would be paying me back my full amount."

A High Court summary summons is issued in a case where the plaintiff's claim is for a specific sum or can be easily quantified. Mr McGeever now has eight days in which to respond to the High Court summons.

Legal sources who spoke to the Irish Independent said there was very little likelihood that anyone would get their money back.

Irish Independent