Don't Care-y Con man who worked for Catriona Carey's finance company says 'it's nothing to do with me'
We track down the colleague of suspect mortgage scammer who lived the high life using cash from desperate borrowers
A CONVICTED fraudster who held a key role with suspected mortgage scammer Catriona Carey's Careysfort Assets Estates Limited has washed his hands of her.
Confronted by the Sunday World at his home in the southeast of Ireland this week after serious allegations of financial misconduct were made against Carey and the company, the 55-year-old conman told us: "It's nothing to do with me at all."
When our reporter attempted to show the fraudster records proving he had taken up a key role with the company in December of 2019, the scammer said: "I haven't been involved since the 31st of December last."
The Sunday World is not legally allowed to identify the convicted conman at this point, as he is currently before the courts on multiple counts of inducing people to hand over large sums of money for services relating to false mortgage applications.
These charges are understood to be unrelated to the man's role with Carey's company.
He is also facing a separate charge relating to the sale of a BMW jeep that was the subject of a lease agreement and remained the property of BMW Ireland.
The crook first came to the attention of the Sunday World back in January of 2020 when he was convicted of conning a family out of thousands of euro and a boat - after he promised he could help them get a house back after it had been repossessed.
When cops later searched his home they found a rifle for which he had no licence and he was also convicted in relation to this offence.
The grifter was given a suspended sentence for the offences after the court heard testimony that he suffered from "a massive alcohol problem."
What didn't come to light at the court sentencing hearing was the fact the crook had taken up a role with the Irish arm of Catriona Carey's Careysfort Asset Estates.
The company this weekend lies at the centre of a storm of allegations of fraud and financial mismanagement, as well as an intensifying Garda probe.
RTE Investigates revealed that more than €200,000 deposited by desperate homeowners to a business account controlled by Catriona Carey was allegedly spent on personal items and services.
Ms Carey, a trained accountant, is a former Irish hockey player and is a sister of former Kilkenny hurling legend DJ Carey.
Around 15 people have complained about Ms Carey to Gardaí after they handed over large sums of money to her company after it said it would purchase their debt from lenders at a cheaper rate and thus sell them their house back with much lower mortgage repayments.
All that was required was a lump sum up front of between 10 to 30 per cent of the new loan amount.
Some handed over tens of thousands of euros and their debt is still in the hands of original lenders and has not been purchased by Careysfort Asset Estates.
Over a two-year period, around €400,000 from clients of Careysfort Asset Estates was paid into the company account and as of last month just €488.10 remained, with nothing left to repay any of those who gave deposits to Catriona Carey's company.
The biggest spend using funds from the company account came on July 21, 2020, when money was used to buy a BMW at a cost of €55,226.
Money in the account was used to fund a lavish lifestyle, including ski trips to Switzerland, a trip to Florida and multiple spending sprees at high-end boutiques and outlets.
RTE obtained two years of bank statements from Careysfort Asset Estates Limited, of which Catriona Carey is the sole director and owner.
Documents separately obtained by the Sunday World revealed the convicted fraudster, who we approached this week, held a separate role within the company.
Financial statements show how clients' deposits were used to fund everything from shopping at Lidl to trips to Switzerland.
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.
RTÉ Investigates 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.
She told clients she was dealing with their lenders to buy their mortgages, but she wasn't.
When people realised they were defrauded, they asked Catriona Carey for their deposit back but didn't get it.
Details obtained by RTE revealed how after one of Carey's alleged victims Sharon O'Riordan, paid €5,000 as a deposit in November 2019.
A month later, bank statements show that the account for Careysfort Asset Estates was used to book a hotel at a Swiss ski resort for six nights. The cost per night was €1,176 and came to a total of €7,058.
Just days later, alleged victims Miriam Tormey and Phil Conway made two transfers of €10,000 into the company account with Miriam, whose name wasn't on the mortgage, having to borrow the money from the credit union.
Two weeks after Miriam and Phil paid their deposit, the trip to the ski-resort in Switzerland began and the Careysfort Asset Estates account was used to fund spending throughout the six-day trip on shops, restaurants and other items, amounting to €6,976. The total spend was €14,000 excluding flights.
The day after the trip ended, a further €10,863 was spent. This was €8,000 at a Kilkenny-based Michael Lyng motor dealers, €2,080 at Welch Sports, which specialises in selling hockey gear, and €783 at EZ Living Furniture in Kilkenny.
Just weeks later, the account is used again to pay for another trip abroad, this time seven days in Florida.
The account shows related charges of over €22,000, including almost €1,000 in one transaction at Armani Exchange.
In response to a detailed list of questions from RTE Investigates, Ms Carey said she could not speak about any client due to 'strict confidentiality clauses.
She also said her company had funds to 'cover all clients' deposits' but added: "We are not advised to refund clients at this point."
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