The Sunday World can today publish un-pixellated images of Wexford-based conman Patrick (Paddy) Maher for the first time after he pleaded guilty to five charges of deception.
Maher (55) was due to be sentenced on the five counts before Wexford Circuit Court last Tuesday.
However, sentencing was put back until later this year after the court heard a probation report on him was not yet ready.
The details of the five charges Maher has pleaded guilty to can also be revealed by this newspaper today.
* On September 25, 2018, at the Beehive pub in Coolbeg, Wicklow, he dishonestly induced a woman to hand over €4,400 in cash and a 09 reg Toyota Avensis in exchange for a 141 registered BMW X3 – which was the subject of a lease and remained the property of BMW Ireland.
* On dates between November 29, 2017 and February 15, 2018, at Donohues in the Duffry in Enniscorthy, he dishonestly induced another woman to hand over a total of €3,800 for services related to a false mortgage application with the intention of causing loss to another.
* On dates between January 1, 2018 and March 15, 2018, at Parktown Mews, Enniscorthy, Maher dishonestly induced a man to hand over cash totalling €1,200 for a mortgage application which was false with the intention of making a gain for himself.
* On dates between August 1 and October 26, 2018 at Shingan in Enniscorthy he dishonestly induced another man to hand over cash totalling €2,825 in payment for a mortgage application which was false with the intention of causing loss to another.
* And on dates between May 1, 2018 and December 5, 2018, at Shingan, Enniscorthy, he dishonestly by deception induced a third man to pay over cash totalling €1,700 for application of a false mortgage with the intention of causing loss to another.
All five charges are contrary to section 6 of the Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud Offences) Act 2001.
Confronted by the Sunday World about his position with Carey’s company earlier this year, after serious allegations of financial misconduct were made against the businesswoman, 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 the role of joint secretary with the Careysfort Assets Estates Limited in December 2019, the scammer said: “I haven’t been involved since the 31st of December last.”
We could not reveal Maher’s identity at the time as he had not entered a plea in the charges outstanding against him – meaning he could have appeared before a jury trial.
According to the Companies Registration Office, Maher held the position of joint secretary at Careysfort Assets Estates Limited from December 31, 2019 onwards.
By law, every company in Ireland is required to appoint a company secretary who must be at least 18 years of age.
The Companies Act 2014 enforces a number of duties on a company secretary.
These duties include co-signing the annual return with a company director and certifying that the financial statements to the annual return are true copies of the originals.
There is no suggestion that Maher was involved in any illegality through his involvement with Carey’s company.
Maher later told our reporter he had never signed any documents relating to Carey’s company and had been unaware he had been appointed to the role.
Crook Maher first came to the attention of theSunday Worldback in January 2020 when he was convicted of conning a Wexford 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.
Wexford Circuit Court heard on that occasion how Maher offered to help get the house back after it had been repossessed in the wake of a failure by the property’s owner to keep up with mortgage repayments.
The property had already been sold on to another woman and there was no chance that the repossession would be overturned.
However, this did not stop Maher requesting €2,500 from the family, saying he would obtain paperwork from the bank which had issued the mortgage.
He then told the family he would take their boat with a view to selling it.
In due course, two men arrived and removed the vessel, a Bayliner cruiser said to be worth €9,000, from the family’s yard.
When the victims sought the return of their cash and property from Maher, all they received were false promises from the defendant that he would be in touch.
When cops later searched Maher’s home, they found a rifle for which he had no licence and he was also convicted in relation to this offence. Maher 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.
Carey’s company lies at the centre of a major garda investigation into fraud and financial mismanagement.
In February, 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 complained to gardai after they handed over large sums of money to her company after being told 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 euro 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.
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.”
Last month, the Central Bank issued a warning to the public in relation to the UK arm Careysfort Asset Estates.
It stated that the firm is not authorised by the Central Bank to provide financial services. 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.”