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Fraudster Catriona Carey given arrest warrant warning after failing to appear in court

Convicted fraudster Catriona Carey (43) did not appear in person at Kilkenny District Court this morning to face the charges of driving without insurance or a licence on December 10 last in a 202KK registered BMW 420.

Catriona Carey. Picture: RTÉ

Conor Feehan

The former Irish hockey player embroiled in an alleged mortgage scam that may have affected at least 30 people must appear before court next Monday morning on motoring charges or a bench warrant for her arrest will be issued, a judge has said today.

Convicted fraudster Catriona Carey (43) did not appear in person at Kilkenny District Court this morning to face the charges of driving without insurance or a licence on December 10 last in a 202KK registered BMW 420.

Further motoring charges were also due to be put to her today.

The charges are under the Road Traffic Act.

At the time of the offences Carey had accumulated 12 penalty points for two offences of speeding and two offences of driving while holding a mobile phone.

These resulted in her being disqualified from driving for six months from November 8 2021 to May 8 2022.

But when the case was called today a solicitor told Judge Geraldine Carthy that Carey had been in touch with his office by email yesterday but there appeared to be some confusion about who was representing her.

Judge Carthy told him that Carey was to be before her next Monday May 24 or a bench warrant would be issued.

Carey (43), with an address at Weir View Hill in Kilkenny, has been accused of scamming more than 30 people out of thousands of euro after offering to buy debt from their lenders at a discount.

She runs a company called Careysfort Asset Estates, which is registered in the UK and has been the subject of multiple complaints to gardaí.

RTÉ Investigates has reported how around €400,000 from clients of her company was paid into the company account but in February just €488.10 remained.

It was revealed how more than €200,000 deposited by desperate homeowners into a business account controlled by Carey was allegedly spent on personal items and services.

The biggest spend using funds from the company account came on July 21, 2020, for the purchase of a BMW at a cost of €55,226.

Gardaí are investigating a number of alleged fraud incidents relating to the activities of a business owned by the Kilkenny woman.

In March Gardai from the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau (GNECB) seized the BMW car from a property in Wexford near Courtown where Carey had been staying.

A week before that, gardaí carried out a search at her home in Kilkenny and seized a number of documents.

Carey was convicted of fraud in February 2020 after altering a cheque she received from a client who had hired her as his accountant. She changed a cheque for €6,948 which had been made out to the Revenue’s collector general, instead making it payable to herself, and cashed it at a bank in Kilkenny.

She received an eight-month suspended sentence.

She was also fined €1,500 in 2008 after knowingly producing an incorrect invoice to Revenue.

Carey was further convicted of claiming VAT back that she wasn’t entitled to in 2006.

Now gardaí are investigating allegations she was involved in a mortgage scam that may have affected at least 30 people.

Carey trained as an accountant and is director and owner of Careysfort Asset Estates Ltd.

Through this firm she claimed she could help those in financial distress by clearing their debt with a new loan from Careysfort and enabling them to stay in their homes.

Carey wanted a deposit upfront, asking clients for between 10pc and 30pc of the proposed new loan. However, many of the deals never materialised and clients have not had their deposits returned. Some people claim they paid her up to €60,000 after borrowing money from family and credit unions.

The Irish Independent previously revealed how she had recently been in contact with a couple who handed her more than €10,000, assuring them that the RTÉ documentary was based on a misunderstanding.

They claim she asked them for a further €20,000 and told them they would receive contracts for a new mortgage in due course, more than two years after they gave her €10,000 in cash.

The couple got into financial difficulty during the recession and became aware of the recent allegations only after picking up a copy of their local paper.

Former Dragons’ Den star Sarah Newman previously told the Sunday Independent how she made a statement to gardaí about convicted swindler Catriona Carey 10 years ago – over the collapse of a company she ran with her then business partner, Kilkenny hurler DJ Carey.

Ms Newman reported her concerns to gardaí in Blackrock, Co Dublin, in 2011 over “major accounting issues and discrepancies” that came to light as she tried to take her money out of the business, DJ Carey Enterprises.

Gardaí sent a file to the DPP, who directed that there be no prosecution.

Ms Newman said she was “completely floored and devastated” about the recent allegations.

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