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deceit and lies Cash from convicted fraudster Patrick Russell may not be recovered as bent lawyer gravely ill

Struck-off Finglas barrister Russell scammed €8 million from dozens of victims


Patrick Russell

Patrick Russell

Patrick Russell

There are fears any chance of recovering cash from convicted fraudster Patrick Russell could disappear as he battles serious illness in hospital.

This week the struck-off barrister is on temporary release from prison despite getting a three-year sentence only last November for stealing €235,000 from a businessman in a bogus property purchase.

Russell, who had been detained in Loughan House and then Castlerea Prison, is understood to be gravely ill in hospital and suffering from a serious medical condition, according to Sunday World sources.

While the €235,000 he stole was successfully frozen before he could take it, there are a long list of other victims who Russell is known to have scammed.

It is estimated he scammed €8 million from dozens of people over three decades of deceit, forgeries and lies.

The Finglas man, who first qualified as a financial adviser later became a barrister, was a financial adviser to the 'Black Widow' Catherine Nevin and was a witness in her trial for the murder of her husband Tom.

Despite his scams being highlighted in legal proceedings and Sunday World articles, he was never convicted of a criminal offence until last year.

Russell, who was struck off from the bar for professional misconduct in 2012, had set up himself up as a financial adviser and had been hired in 2015 to carry out a property transaction.

A businessman who thought he had bought an industrial unit in Clane for €235,000 had in fact been given forged deeds supposedly from the Property Registration Authority.

A firm of solicitors involved in the transaction became suspicious and alerted gardaí. Russell denied committing any offence in Garda interviews but then pleaded guilty when the case came to court.

The Sunday World had previously detailed how when acting as a tax consultant he would take his clients' cash and supply fake Revenue receipts.

In 2011, musicians Foster and Allen found themselves broke after their dealings with Russell.

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The musicians told a court that they each paid Russell €50,000 to settle their tax liabilities and that he supplied them with a letter from the Revenue saying their affairs were in order. However, the money was never received and the court found the letters were forged.

The pair were then ordered to pay €4 million each in income tax and penalties. Russell was struck off the barristers roll in 2012 and moved to the UK for a number of years.

RTÉ Investigates recently showed that on his return to Ireland Russell began offering loans to people in financial difficulties.

According to the RTÉ report he took over €300,000 in advance fees from 22 people and his non-existent firm had no cash to lend.

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