Consumers warned | 

Central Bank issues warning about fraudster Catriona Carey's 'unauthorised' financial firm

“Consumers should be wary of advertisements offering loans from unauthorised firms or persons.”

Clodagh Meaney

The Central Bank of Ireland has issued a warning to the public in relation to Catriona Carey’s “unauthorised” financial firm Careysfort Asset Estates.

It states that the firm are not authorised by the Central Bank to provide financial services.

The warning notice published on June 9th names Catriona Carey as the sole director of the company.

The English company is registered at 22 Wenlock Road, London, England N1 7GU.

It reads: “The Central Bank believes that Careysfort Asset Estates Limited is holding itself out as a person whose business consists wholly or partly of providing credit directly to a relevant person.”

“It holds no authorisation from the Central Bank as a retail credit firm.”

Under legislation, the Central Bank is responsible for regulating financial services in Ireland.

Further to this, the bank warns that it is a criminal offence for an unauthorised firm or person to provide financial services in Ireland without authorisation from the Central Bank.

“Consumers should check the Central Bank registers online to find out if a firm / person they are dealing with is authorised,” they warned.

“Consumers should be wary of advertisements offering loans from unauthorised firms or persons.”

Former Ireland hockey star Catriona Carey was convicted of fraud in 2020 after stealing €6,948 from hairdresser Nigel Kenny, who had hired Mrs Carey as his accountant.

She received an 8 month suspended sentence for making a cheque out to herself and cashing it at a Bank of Ireland branch in Kilkenny.

In May, the 44-year-old was handed a three-month suspended prison term and a four-year road ban after admitting to driving with no licence or insurance twice within a month.

The court heard that Carey, of Weir View Hill in Kilkenny, was pleading guilty to four road traffic offences which occurred less than a month apart last year.

In February 2022 it came to light that over a period of two years, more than €200,000 from desperate clients of Careysfort Asset Estates was allegedly spent on lavish goods, cars and holidays.

RTE Investigates revealed that around 15 people complained to Gardaí about Carey after they handed over large sums of money to her company.

Clients were told the company would buy their debt from lenders at a cheaper rate and then sell them their house back with much lower mortgage repayments.

All that was required was a lump sum up front of between 10 and 30pc of the new loan amounts.

It was found that the firm did not purchase the debts from the original lenders leaving cash-strapped clients plunged further into debt.

The documentary followed the money trail using documents received by RTÉ, including two years of bank statements from Careysfort Asset Estates Limited.

The statements show how clients' deposits were used to fund everything from shopping at Lidl to trips to Switzerland and more.

In one 12-month period, over €380,000 was lodged to the account, the vast majority being deposits paid by clients to Careysfort Asset Estates Limited. And over €200,000 was spent on what appear to be items and services for personal use.

The documentary also highlighted the plight of 18 people who paid close to €500,000, with some paying €60,000 each.

According to signed agreements, these deposits were refundable. But once they were paid, Catriona Carey strung people along for up to two years with broken promises.

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