Fraudster Paddy Maher set up new property company days after he was ‘too ill’ to appear in court

Paddy Maher, who held the role of joint secretary in Catriona Carey’s company, was supposed to appear for sentencing on six separate counts of fraud

Paddy Maher’s solicitor says he has suffered a number of strokes

Catriona Carey

John Steadmond

Patrick O'ConnellSunday World

Serial fraudster Paddy Maher, who held the role of joint secretary in Catriona Carey’s company, set up a new property company — less than two weeks after a court was told he was too ill to appear on unrelated fraud charges.

And the Sunday World can reveal 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 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.

This was exactly 12 days after Maher was supposed to appear before Wexford Circuit Court for sentencing on six separate counts of fraud.

Catriona Carey

At a sitting of the court in Gorey, a legal representative acting for Maher (55) — who has a previous conviction for fraud and theft — was warned a doctor’s note will be required for any future absences from court.

The charges Maher had been due to be sentenced on related to cons over a car sale and false mortgage application.

But when his case was called, solicitor Ed King said Maher was unable to attend the sitting as he had “suffered a number of strokes over the past 12 months.”

He also submitted that Maher had an appointment to see a neurologist within the next month.

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.”

Alongside Maher and Catriona Carey, John Steadmond also finds himself caught up in a major Garda investigation into the massive fraud perpetrated on homeowners by Catriona Carey’s Careysfort Assets Estates.

John Steadmond

The company conned dozens of indebted property owners with promises of non-existent buybacks on their loans. Instead, up to €400,000 in client funds were squandered holidays, grocery shopping, a car and clothes.

As part of the con outlined in RTE’s exposé The Accountant, The Con, The Lies, a number of frustrated investors ended up talking to a fake solicitor who went by the name Damien.

John Steadmond, with an address at Rossminogue North, Gorey was identified by RTE as this ‘fake’ solicitor – which he denies.

The Sunday World previously interviewed Catriona Carey about the Careysfort property scam.

She described herself as ‘the fall guy’ in the fraud.

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