Maher held the role of ‘joint secretary’ in suspected mortgage scammer Catriona Carey’s ‘Careysfort Assets Estates Limited
The 55-year-old, whose previous excuses for not turning up in court included ‘strokes’ and ‘stress’ claimed, on this occasion, to have suffered ‘a fall’ ahead of his scheduled court appearance.
Maher – who held the role of ‘joint secretary’ in suspected mortgage scammer Catriona Carey’s ‘Careysfort Assets Estates Limited’ – was due to be sentenced on the charges before Wexford Circuit Court on Thursday last.
The five charges are contrary to section 6 of the Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud Offences) Act 2001 and each carries with it a maximum sentence of five years in prison.
Maher had missed his two previous scheduled court appearances and, prior to his case being called on Thursday, it was confirmed he would again be a no-show.
Shortly before 4pm, barrister Jordan Fletcher took to his feet and informed Judge Martin Nolan he had just had a text relating to Mr Maher.
“I’ve just received a text to say Mr Maher has fallen in Busaras and is on his way to hospital,” Mr Fletcher told the court
“I don’t have a medical report,” he added.
Judge Martin Nolan – who, on November 30, said he intended to proceed to sentencing on Thursday after a ‘stressed’ Patrick Maher was not in court on that occasion – asked for the garda who was prosecuting the case to come forward.
“Do you know Mr Maher?” Judge Nolan asked of Detective Garda Martin Brauders.
Detective Garda Brauders responded: “I do.”
“Is he a Wexford man?” the judge inquired.
“He’s not, Judge,” the detective responded.
“He’s originally a Dublin man but he has lived in Wexford for a number of years.”
Asked if he had a view on Maher’s latest excuse for not turning up in court, Det Brauders responded: “I’m not surprised.”
Judge Nolan then adjourned the case again.
Maher had previously been scheduled for sentencing on October 7.
On that occasion, Judge John McHugh described Maher’s failure to make his court appointments on medical grounds as ‘recurring in nature’ adding: “I will certainly require a note from the doctor on future occasions.”
Judge McHugh issued the warning after Maher’s solicitor Ed King told the court was unable to attend the sitting as he had ‘suffered a number of strokes over the previous 12 months and was due to see a neurologist.
Despite Maher’s apparent ill health, the Sunday Worldpreviously reported on how he set up a new property company – less than three weeks after his failure to appear in court on October 7.
Maher’s co-director in the new company is John Steadmond – the man identified by RTÉ as the ‘fake solicitor’ who took calls from desperate clients of Careysfort Assets Estates Limited as they sought to get their money back.
Company documents that were obtained by this newspaper show the pair’s new company J,P & P Properties, with an address at The Square, Ashford, Wicklow, was incorporated on October 25.
The charges on which Maher stands accused include four counts of obtaining monies by deception by preparing false mortgage applications, as well as a further count of conning a woman out of her car.
Maher was joint secretary of Careysfort Asset Management in the UK in December 2021, having been appointed to the same role with an Irish registered version of the company two years earlier.
The company now lies at the centre of an €800,000 fraud probe after dozens of indebted property owners were scammed with promises of non-existent buybacks on their loans.