Friday 16 November 2018

'Lawyer' who fooled criminals and media was insane

Conman di Stefano, jailed for 14 years, was a convicted fraudster with a history of mental illness, writes Jim Cusack

Giovanni di Stefano
Giovanni di Stefano

EUGENE 'Dutchy' Holland, the man who shot Veronica Guerin dead, died destitute and a prison inmate in Britain, himself a victim of a conman who was jailed for 14 years in London last week, gardai believe.

Holland and his former boss, John Gilligan, were suckered by fraudster Giovanni di Stefano (57) who used his media manipulation skills to convince them he was a millionaire lawyer whose client list included Saddam Hussein, Robert Mugabe and Slobodan Milosevic.

Di Stefano managed to convince media people in Ireland that he was an international legal figure, even appearing on RTE's Late Late Show in September 2005. His spurious claims were subsequently carried in a number of newspapers and he was widely referred to in some print and broadcasting media as a lawyer.

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