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Wednesday 24 January 2018

Welfare fraudster pays out €520,000 to Revenue

Cormac McQuinn and Paul Melia

A SOCIAL welfare fraudster who was jailed for falsely claiming more than €40,000 in dole payments – while running a multi-million euro business – has appeared on the latest list of tax defaulters.

Father-of-10 Daniel Kelleher, from Stoneridge, Shanakiel, Cork, has made a settlement with the Revenue of more than €520,000 for under-declaration of various taxes.

Other defaulters included:

• A mysterious offshore foundation based in Liechtenstein that made a settlement of €3.2m.

• A defunct car dealership in Fermoy, Co Cork, that under-declared VAT and settled for €2.5m.

• A Co Waterford farmer with a settlement of €907,000.

• The self-declared "psychic" owner of an "Angel Shop and Holistic Centre" in Wexford town who settled with Revenue for €210,000.

• Building union BATU which made a settlement of €146,000.

• A property development company once-chaired by former EU Commissioner Ray MacSharry, which settled for €51,000.


Dole-cheat Mr Kelleher, who last week had a four-year jail sentence reduced to two-and-a- half years on appeal, was claiming social welfare saying he was an unemployed farm labourer.

Meanwhile, his bank account showed a turnover of more than €3m from a business he ran supplying concrete products and hiring and repairing machinery.

His prosecution at the end of 2011 was the first by a joint Revenue Commissioners-Department of Social Protection taskforce. Yesterday's tax defaulters list showed how Mr Kelleher had made a €521,638 settlement with Revenue for under-declaration of VAT, PAYE/PRSI, income tax and capital gains tax.

The largest settlement on the list – more than €3.2m – was made by a foundation based in the tiny continental principality of Liechtenstein: Fondation Quatre Chevaux.

A Revenue offshore funds investigation found it to have under-declared discretionary trust tax.

Other large settlements were made by liquidated Fermoy car dealership John McCarthy Motors Ltd (€2.5m), and Ballsbridge-based property holding company Keppleson Properties Ltd (€1.2m).

Sligo-based property development company Foresthaze Developments Ltd made a settlement of more than €51,000 for "under-declaration of Relevant Contracts Tax".

Former Fianna Fail finance minister and EU Commissioner Mr MacSharry was previously chairman of the company and served as a director between 2006 and 2009.

His son, Senator Marc MacSharry, who said he was also among a number of shareholders in Foresthaze Developments, last night told the Irish Independent that he wasn't aware that the company had appeared on the list.

He said he was "surprised" at its inclusion and added: "I have no day-to-day involvement with it and to my knowledge I don't think my father does either."

He added: "I'll be making enquiries to see what that involves."

Meanwhile, Denis Hayes, a farmer with 68 acres of land in Adamstown, Kilmeaden, Co Waterford, made a settlement of €907,000 after an under-declaration of capital gains tax.

In all, the Revenue Commissioners published the names of 113 tax defaulters yesterday with combined settlements of €21.3m for the three-month period to September 30 this year.

Irish Independent

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