CAB couple's high life targeted in cash crackdown

Joanne Byrne drives a high-end Range Rover with her husband Thomas Kavanagh
Joanne Byrne drives a high-end Range Rover with her husband Thomas Kavanagh

CAB target Thomas ‘Bomber’ Kavanagh has been found guilty of fraud charges in the UK after his high-end car company was investigated in a Revenue crackdown on the premier league lifestyle he leads with wife Joanne Byrne.

The brother-in-law of Kinahan lieutenant Liam Byrne was sentenced to 16 months in jail, which was suspended for two years on the basis he pay back £83,000stg (€97,000) to the British Exchequer.

Bomber received the sentence after HM Revenue uncovered how he produced fake pay slips and P60s to raise a mortgage on his home in Tamworth in 2012. 

Charges against his wife Joanne, a sister of Liam and murdered David Byrne, will remain ‘on file’. It is the first time ‘car dealer’ Kavanagh has come before the courts in connection with serious criminal charges since he left Ireland nearly 20 years ago after being targeted by CAB.

He was stripped of his home and assets by CAB and relocated to the UK. However, in the space of a few short years the couple were back living the high life again.

Since 2005, Kavanagh and Byrne have been living in a mansion just outside Birmingham.

The couple regularly drive top-of-the-range motors and remain extremely close to Joanne’s family.

Bomber was the chief family mourner at David Byrne’s lavish funeral last February following the gangster’s murder at the Regency Hotel.

Kavanagh has been identified here as a target of An Garda Síochána’s €100 million crackdown on organised crime, which has listed Bomber’s brother-in-law Liam Byrne as public enemy number one.

In recent weeks Liam, his partner Simoan McEnroe, his father and mother, James ‘Jaws’ and Sadie Byrne, business partner Sean McGovern and his partner Anita Freeman have all been named in court as key CAB targets.

Earlier this month, he appeared before a British court where he was accused of evading tax and faking documents to remortgage his home

Freddie Thompson and Thomas Kavanagh at David Byrne's funeral

The court heard that HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) began looking into Kavanagh’s financial affairs after an examination of his VAT returns raised concerns.

Paul Fisher, assistant director of Fraud Investigation Service at HMRC, told the court: “As we checked into Kavanagh and his financial affairs, all his claims unravelled.

“Using a forensic accountant to trace his financial history through his bank accounts, we discovered a cynical plan to steal from the public.”

Kavanagh, the court heard, claimed to be a self-employed motor dealer but Revenue could find no self-assessment tax return or other employment tax record between 2005 and 2011.

Further investigations by HMRC discovered the 49-year-old remortgaged his family home in 2012 by claiming he worked as a transport manager for a separate Birmingham company.

He supplied the Coventry Building Society with fake payslips showing he earned nearly £110,000 as an employee in the 2010-2011 tax year.

All the documents he submitted were false, using fake PAYE references and forged P60 end-of-year paperwork.

Kavanagh admitted the fraud and was sentenced to 16 months jail, suspended for two years. He was also given a 150-hour unpaid community work order and a curfew for two months.

Joint fraud charges against his wife, Joanne Byrne, will lie on file. Two years ago Joanne treated 23 of her closest gal pals to a week’s holiday at The Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas to celebrate her 40th birthday.

The group splashed out at the massive casino, shopped at Luis Vuitton and Christian Dior and partied hard.

Last year, ‘Bomber’ was pictured alongside brother-in-law Liam and associates ‘Fat’ Freddie Thompson and Liam Roe flanking the coffin at the extravagant funeral of David Byrne.

He left Ireland more than 10 years ago after the CAB targeted him in one of bureau’s very first cases. 


Joanne Byrne

He was named in July 1998 along with heroin kingpin George ‘the Penguin’ Mitchell when the Bureau secured a judgement against him. At the time he was ordered to pay up more than €100,000.

In 2000, when Liam Byrne faced charges for an assault on a man in Crumlin, Bomber was arrested during the court proceedings after threatening a witness.