NewsCrime Desk

Roly-poly fraudster O'Gorman took cash from gangland's heavy hitters

Crime DeskBy Nicola Tallant
James 'Fat Boy' O'Gorman
James 'Fat Boy' O'Gorman

THIS IS the convicted fraud­ster who has become gang­land's most wanted after tricking a host of criminals – including the warring Kina­han and Hutch factions – to invest their cash in a suspect­ed pyramid scheme.

James 'Fat Boy' O'Gorman has gone to ground and is under­stood to be under the protection of a former Provo after running out of rope with his debtors.

Sources close to the conman say that while he is still trying to buy time, he hasn't a hope of paying back a penny after running a risky pyramid scheme with millions of euro of dirty money.

It is understood that the 43-year-old was brought in to help Jim Mansfield Snr following the collapse of his mul­ti-million euro business in 2011.  

O'Gorman, who once had links to drug dealer Martin 'Marlo' Hyland, claimed he could attract investors to help fund Mansfield buy back some of his interests which had gone into receivership, including Finnstown Castle Hotel, Paddy Reilly's Field in Rathcoole and Saggart Lodge Court.

Mansfield went under owing €360mil­lion to the banks, but it is understood that the former CityWest owner had also been handling other investments which weren’t on the books, including millions of euro he was laundering for criminals.

Mansfield was desperate to raise more than €8million so he could claw back the key interests in his property portfolio, pay back his criminal asso­ciates and have a legacy to leave to his sons.

It is understood that O'Gorman moved his offices into the family's Tassagart House mansion, beside the CityWest Hotel, and personally moved into the apartment out-houses on the grounds of the property as he put together his finance plan, which he promised would see Mansfield rise from the ashes.

He convinced a number of criminals, including representatives of the war­ring sides in Dublin’s vicious gangland feud – the Kinahan Cartel and a dirty money banker believed to represent associates of Gerry 'the Monk' Hutch – to invest millions with him, claiming they were all going to make a killing on bullet resistant glass.

As pressure came on to repay a debt, it is understood he drew in other investors, including a drug dealer closely linked to George 'the Penguin' Mitchell, and used their funds to keep the wolves from the door.

Despite O'Gorman's history, he is known to be a very convincing liar and has been buying time for months as investors, which now include para­military groups, are circling looking for their loot back.

Gardai also believe that O'Gorman was the brains behind establishing a VAT fraud scam which netted Mans­field Snr up to €12,000 a week, as he scrambled for funds to keep his secret debtors – which also included a number of traveller gangs that had been using his businesses as a bank for stolen assets and cash – from the door.

It is understood that a company which hired out staff to the hotel industry was set up in 2011 and that PJ Mansfield was listed as a company director for over a year.

The company, New Recruits Personnel Limited, is currently being probed by the Criminal Assets Bureau, who believe that it creamed millions from the exchequer by collecting 23 per cent VAT on top of every euro it charged despite not being registered.

The Criminal Assets Bureau discov­ered papers relating to the company during a raid on Mansfield-owned properties in January 2015.

Members of the Mansfield family were at home at Tassagart House when officers from the Bureau and the Organised Crime Unit, backed up by officers from the National Drug Unit, struck in a dawn raid on the first anniversary of Mansfield Snr's death.

It is understood that O'Gorman was also at the property, living in an out­house, along with members of the INLA who claimed to be offering protection to the businessman.

Documents seized during the raids are still being analysed, but officers believe that O'Gorman was central to a number of irregular financial scams uncovered.

O'Gorman was spared a four-year jail term for fraud eight years ago when he handed out €60,000 in compensation to victim James Crowley.

He had been found guilty of dis­honestly obtaining almost €55,000 from the company director after he had approached him at his business premises and offered him a deal on a sterling exchange.

The court heard that O'Gorman and two accomplices had taken a suitcase of cash from Mr Crowley, but when the businessman repeatedly asked them to adhere to their end of the bargain they refused.

During one meeting Mr Crowley told the court he heard O'Gorman ask "where is the Beretta?" – at the time he said he did not know it was a type of firearm.

On another occasion, O'Gorman told him: "I am a member of the biggest organisation in Ireland and I am not referring to the GAA."

Security companies linked to O'Gor­man in the past were raided by gardai investigating the laundering of funds from organised crime including money made by the murdered drug lord Mar­tin 'Marlo' Hyland.

The Sunday World has tried to ques­tion PJ Mansfield in relation to his links to the company suspected of VAT fraud, but he has refused to talk.

In fact, the businessman fled from our reporter in his high-spec car, leaving his girlfriend Julie Husman behind on a pavement, when we tried to quiz him on the matter.