You were hit by recession, not fraud, judge tells mortgage boss

Ray Managh

ALLEGATIONS of fraud against a mortgage consultant have been abandoned by his former employer, a court heard yesterday.

Barrister Jim Phillips told the Circuit Civil Court that Seamus Sutcliffe, trading as The Mortgage Shop, Bachelors Walk, Dublin, had withdrawn claims that Derek Ryan had fraudulently concealed and kept commission for himself.

Sutcliffe went on over a two-day trial to lose a €38,000 claim for damages against Ryan, of Baltrasna House, Spencer Dock, Dublin, on the grounds that evidence had been clouded and lacked persuasiveness.

Circuit Court President Mr Justice Matthew Deery, throwing out Sutcliffe's claim, said blame for sales and commission losses at The Mortgage Shop had mistakenly been placed at Mr Ryan's door.

He said that in February and March of last year the country was facing the downturn, which was most likely responsible for a €15,000 monthly drop in sales commission, rather than through any fault of Mr Ryan.

Judge Deery rejected allegations that Ryan, having ended his employment with Mr Sutcliffe in March 2009, had sought to poach clients from The Mortgage Shop.

Mr Phillips, for Ryan, said his client had been on the dole after having left The Mortgage Shop because of unhappy differences. He said Mr Sutcliffe's initial claim clearly amounted to an allegation that Mr Ryan had defrauded The Mortgage Shop, but this allegation had been withdrawn early in the case.

Judge Deery said no inquiries had been made by Mr Sutcliffe through his contacts in various financial and insurance houses about Mr Ryan's alleged activities and no application for discovery of Mr Ryan's bank accounts had been sought.

The court reserved a decision on costs.