Spend and split | 

Catriona Carey's victims will not get money back as she's now 'broke', says expert

"We are not really pursuing her anymore" admits David Hall. He also added he has "no clue" as to Carey's whereabouts

Catriona Carey

Eugene Masterson

Convicted fraudster Catriona Carey's victims will not get their money back as she's now broke after splurging out on her high-end lifestyle, according to a finance expert.

Carey is alleged to have scammed hundreds of thousands of euro off desperate homeowners in false ploys to buy off their struggling mortgages in return for deposits they never got back.

"It looks like there's no equity in any of the assets we can find at the moment and we are not really pursuing her anymore," admits David Hall, CEO of the not-for-profit body the Irish Mortgage Holders Organisation. The organisation helps distressed mortgage holders by negotiating with their lenders.

"There's no evidence there's any money anywhere, it looks like it has been spent."

Catriona Carey

He adds: "The priority at the moment is the people who have been left in difficulties for the last number of years and just making sure that the focus is retaining people's home as opposed to chasing them for 10 or 20 grand.

"My advice strongly to everyone is - let's not get distracted, let's retain the anger and let's focus on retaining ownership of your home."

More people have come forward in recent days to claim they, too, have been conned by Carey.

"There were 18 people recognised by Primetime," Mr Hall confirms, referring to the recent RTÉ exposé.

"Most certainly, there are six or seven more that have come forward, that have been known about. Also, it's important to remember, in my conversations with a number of people over the last two weeks, many of these people not recorded in those bank transactions paid cash."

He claims that some conned people have been told by their financial advisors not to go the Gardaí as it may implicate them in the mess, too.

Carey reportedly was still up to her tricks last week, despite all the publicity; lying to some clients that she was not the woman featured in the RTÉ documentary in a bid to score more money.

Mr Hall adds he has "no clue" as to Carey's whereabouts.

Asked what advice he would give her, he said: "Present yourself to the Gardaí and co-operate."

The Sunday World visited a location this week near Kilkenny city where an ex-boyfriend of Catriona Carey lives.

"No, she's not in the house and not hiding out here," he said. "Just leave me alone. I've nothing to say about Catriona," he said.

Gardaí raided her plush €400,000 detached home on Wednesday and seized bundles of documents dealing with her company, Careysfort Asset Estates, and which was spearheaded by the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau in Harcourt Street in Dublin.

Carey's links to Kilkenny Hockey Club have also come under scrutiny, with the sportswoman brazenly turning up for a practice session with the ladies' team within days of the RTÉ programme.

We asked Kilkenny Hockey Club president Tristan Lynas if Carey used cash to buy outfits for the team.

"I have no comment to make, thanks very much," he said and then hung up.

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