Cork conman wanted over €18,000 fraud nearly 10 years ago finally pleads guilty
It appeared at one stage as if he had been caught in September 2020 after an arrest was made by police
A smooth-talking con-artist wanted by police on both sides of the border for several years has finally pleaded guilty to a €18,100 fraud.
Cork native John Kelleher (64) had been living in the UK before being charged in Ireland with the scam nearly ten years ago.
Kelleher with an address in Worcester, England was recently arraigned in court where he pleaded guilty to the charge that on October 17 and 18, 2013 at an unknown location he stole €18,100.
His case at Cork Circuit Criminal Court has been listed for sentencing to later this month.
The Sunday World revealed in 2020 how the ‘financial advisor’ had been accused of stealing money from people while claiming to make investments for them.
It appeared at one stage as if he had been caught in September 2020 after an arrest was made by police and a ‘John Kelleher’ brought to Northern Ireland where he was wanted at the time.
Police in Northern Ireland thought they had Kelleher in custody after he was picked up by officers in Wales.
During a court hearing, before the arrested man's identity had been confirmed, it emerged that the real fraud suspect had been dodging police for the previous three years.
Kelleher had accused of taking st£16,000 from a woman in a financial investment scheme while acting as a financial adviser but was instead pocketing his client's cash.
During the hearing at Lisburn Magistrates Court via video-link from police custody, the court heard that Kelleher had been charged with fraud by false representation between January 1, 2016 and March 31, 2017.
A detective told the court how the alleged fraud related to financial investments where Kelleher was given st£16,135 to invest but, "no documentation was given and there was no correspondence at all."
The court heard that Kelleher was subject to a European Arrest Warrant at the time.
That prosecution against Kelleher has since been dropped, according to Sunday World sources, after the cash was paid back.
The man who appeared in court as the wanted suspect in 2020 did not speak up at the time to tell the authorities of the mistake.
When he appeared in court before Judge Liam McStay the man represented himself and appeared to be in a dishevelled state but didn't explain that he was not the wanted suspect.
The Police Service of Northern Ireland confirmed to Sunday World at the time their officers, acting on information from colleagues in Wales, had travelled there to make the arrest.
"On returning to Northern Ireland and following a thorough and diligent investigation by PSNI officers it transpired that the person arrested was not the wanted person," said a spokesperson.
The man was later released from custody.
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