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extradited Alleged fraudster accused of rent deposit and Electric Picnic ticket scams refused bail

The accused allegedly advertised on social media and classified websites

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File photo, Cloverhill District Court (PA)

File photo, Cloverhill District Court (PA)

File photo, Cloverhill District Court (PA)

AN ALLEGED fraudster accused of a litany of apartment rent deposits and Electric Picnic festival ticket scams has been refused bail.

Gardai arrested James Carpenter, 31, of Irish Street, Ardee, Co. Louth on Friday at Dublin Airport after extradition from Scotland.

He appeared before Judge Anthony Halpin at Dublin District Court on Saturday, facing strenuous objections to bail.

He is accused of making a gain from deception and causing loss to others, forgery, theft, using false instruments and fraudulent use of a trademark.

The offences allegedly happened in 2016 using adverts on social media and online classified sites.

Judge Halpin remanded him in custody to appear at Cloverhill District Court on Friday.

Six of the charges were put to him before he left Ireland in 2017.

Nine more were put to him after he was brought back.

Detective Garda Niall Cadden told Judge Halpin the accused was taken to Dublin's Bridewell station and made "made no reply to the charges".

He opposed bail due to the seriousness of the case.

The alleged rental frauds involved three apartments in central Dublin city. The court heard one complainant paid €650 on July 10 but did not get his money back.

Detective Garda Cadden alleged that on July 29, an injured party paid the accused €1200, but the money was not returned.

Two apartment hunters allegedly paid him €1300 on July 15 and signed a lease after a viewing advertised on daft.ie.

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He allegedly refused to give them back their money.

Another person allegedly arranged a viewing via Facebook and handed over €1600.

The court heard a different renter paid €800 on August 3.

On August 15, he was allegedly paid €1000 as a deposit for an apartment advertised on rent.ie.

A week earlier, the accused allegedly rented out a Dublin 8 apartment on behalf of a named company without authorization. Detective Garda Cadden said the firm was charged €261 and left at a loss.

It was claimed a woman and her partner rented an apartment after contacting him on Twitter on June 18. They paid €1200 and moved in, but their tenancy was terminated by the "true landlord" on August 27.

Another renter accused him of taking €650 on August 1, but the apartment's actual landlord terminated the tenancy 16 days later.

Two other renters claimed to have paid €1200 in July, but the money was not forwarded to the real landlord. So they had to quit the apartment, the court was told.

In July, the court heard he allegedly charged €650 for an Electric Picnic music festival ticket never sent to the buyer.

He is accused of selling two Electric Picnic tickets in May in an email to be printed. However, the festival only accepted "hard copy tickets".

Judge Halpin heard on June 27, the accused allegedly sold two more tickets for the festival for €500 through the Gumtree website.

Detective Garda Cadden said a European Arrest Warrant was issued, and the Director of Public Prosecutions directed "trial on indictment".

He agreed with the defence solicitor Fergal Boyle that due to covid-19, there is a backlog in the Circuit Court, and his client may have to wait a significant period until his trial.

He also accepted that Mr Carpenter did not contest his extradition.

The solicitor told the detective that his client went to the UK because he was under threat. His family has offered €2,000 bail and an address.

However, Detective Garda Cadden said that did not alleviate his concerns.

Pleading for bail, Mr Carpenter said he fled due to threats and financial issues. He spent several months on prison remand in Scotland, awaiting his return to Ireland.

He told the court he had been getting psychological therapy and had no intention of leaving again.

However, refusing bail Judge Halpin had feared the defendant would not turn up for trial. He granted legal aid to Mr Carpenter, who has not yet indicated how he will plead.

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