Mystic lag | 

‘Psychic’ conman Simon Gold predicts he will stay out of trouble after prison release

Fraudster says he is ‘opti-mystic’ about life – despite pleading guilty to two new charges.
Simon Gold leaving court

Simon Gold leaving court

Simon Gold pleaded guilty to two charges related to money-laundering

Simon Gold pleaded guilty to two charges related to money-laundering

Simon Gold says he may take up psychic reading again

Simon Gold says he may take up psychic reading again

Simon Gold enjoyed serving his jail sentence in Shelton Abbey

Simon Gold enjoyed serving his jail sentence in Shelton Abbey

Alan SherrySunday World

Convicted fraudster and former ‘psychic’ Simon Gold has said that Shelton Abbey open prison is so nice that some people don’t want to leave, as it emerged he has been released on licence four years into a seven-and-a-half year sentence.

Gold, who this week pleaded guilty to two further fraud charges for which he will be sentenced in November, told the Sunday World there’s no such thing as bad publicity and he plans to return to doing psychic readings now that he’s out of prison.

Self-proclaimed psychic Gold shot to fame in Ireland when he launched Astrology Ireland – the country’s first fortune-telling service over the phone.

He billed himself as Ireland’s leading seventh generation psychic, astrologer and tarot master and charged €4 a minute to those willing to part with their cash for his services.

Speaking to the Sunday World this week, Gold said he was confident he won’t spend any more time behind bars on the latest charges and that he’s getting used to be being out of prison.

He is currently serving a seven-and-a-half year sentence for the laundering of €1.6 million, deception and control of false instruments.

The smooth-talking fraudster, who operated under several aliases, swindled money from desperate business people looking for loans during the financial crash.

He appeared in court on Friday, where he pleaded guilty to two fresh deception charges in relation to two bank accounts he opened in 2017 and 2018.

When Gold (57), with an address at Windy Ridge House, Athlone, Co. Westmeath, appeared in court, Judge Martin Nolan appeared surprised that he was not in prison. “Time flies,” he said to Gold, before setting a sentencing date of November 22.

Simon Gold pleaded guilty to two charges related to money-laundering

Simon Gold pleaded guilty to two charges related to money-laundering

Speaking to the Sunday World after his court appearance Gold, who had been in prison since May 2018, said he recently got out of prison on licence to serve the remainder of his sentence on community return.

“You’re eligible for community return from halfway through your sentence. I did four years before I got out, so it was over half,” he said.

“The years have actually flown in. Listen – don’t worry, justice has been served and the public are quite safe I’m out.

“Even the judge was surprised. He’s not the worst by the way. He’s a fair judge.”

Gold, who had previously escaped from custody in the UK, joked: “Did you think I’d escaped or something?”

Simon Gold says he may take up psychic reading again

Simon Gold says he may take up psychic reading again

Before his conviction on the €1.6m money- laundering charges, Gold, who was involved in fraud and dodgy business practices for years, had 17 previous convictions, 12 of which were in the UK. These include convictions for burglary, theft, larceny and escaping from lawful custody.

“It’s over and done with now. As far as I’m concerned, I’ve paid my price. I don’t have hundreds of victims out there looking for my blood, hopefully.

“I’m going to rebuild my life. It is what it is. I’m not bitching about it. I got the sentence the judge thought was appropriate and I think he’s a very fair judge.”

Gold said prison was, at times, difficult.

“I did find it tough inside but, you know what, it’s meant to be. The first three years were spent in Cloverhill, which was terrible. That was a nightmare. I was on remand for 15 months.

“Then I was in Mountjoy, which is a sh*t hole, and then Shelton Abbey for the last year and Shelton Abbey is lovely. They treated me well. Really, some people don’t want to leave Shelton Abbey, it’s that nice.”

He said prisoners in Shelton Abbey are given a chance to reintegrate into society before their release.

“In Shelton Abbey, guys can go out on work release, get jobs, earn a proper wage and then by the time they get fully released they either have a new skill or a work ethic and they have money.

“They’re not back to scoring drugs.”

Gold said he has no intention to return to a life a crime and hopes to return to doing ‘psychic’ readings provided he gets approvals from the probation service.

“I am basically all about getting up on my feet now. I’m 57 years of age. I’ll be 58 on the day I’m sentenced. I think we’ll leave the money-laundering aside. With all the publicity you guys give me maybe I should [return to psychic readings]. Yeah I am going back to the psychic readings.”

Asked if he thought people would be sceptical of his psychic abilities given he’s a convicted fraudster, he said: “There’s no such thing as bad publicity. They might say you never saw that one coming. I was ‘opti-Mystic’ about my appeal, I’ve heard them all.”

He said that he didn’t kill anyone, so should be able to get on with his life.

“We’re not a bad country, are we? We give people a second chance.

“Sometimes I feel like maybe I did [murder somebody] because I got seven-and-a-half years. Sometimes it’s hard to reconcile the fact there are people committing heinous violent, disgusting crimes and they’re getting released on bail. Violent offences don’t seem to attract long enough in prison.”

He said while he’d prefer the latest charges were dealt with previously, he’s not overly concerned about them.

“They were two charges when they arrested me for two bank accounts that were frozen for the last four years. I was happy to sign the bank accounts over.

Simon Gold pleaded guilty to two charges related to money-laundering

Simon Gold pleaded guilty to two charges related to money-laundering

As part of his community return he does two days community work a week and reports regularly to the probation services and the Irish Prison Service.

“It’s probably not a bad thing either, after a few years it takes a while to adjust.”

The self-proclaimed psychic predicted he wouldn’t be spending any more time behind bars on the latest charges.

“It’ll be suspended don’t worry about that.”


Today's Headlines

More Courts

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices