Investigation | 

Solicitor arrested over alleged fraudulent injury claims amid major garda probe

He was one of three people detained by gardaí in Co Limerick as part of an ongoing probe

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Shane Phelan and Ken Foy

A well-known solicitor has been arrested under anti-gangland legislation as part of a major garda fraud investigation.

He was one of three people detained by gardaí in Co Limerick as part of an ongoing probe.

The arrests relate to suspicions about the alleged facilitation of fraudulent personal injury claims.

The alleged frauds being examined date back between eight and ten years ago.

The investigation is being led locally, with the backing of the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau (GNECB).

It is thought a dozen detectives from the bureau are assisting local detectives with the investigation.

The arrests took place on Monday and periods of detention were subsequently extended.

The three were detained under Section 72 of the Criminal Justice Act.

This section relates to the offence of participating in or contributing to the activities of a criminal organisation in order to enhance a gang’s ability to commit a serious offence or to facilitate a gang in committing serious offences.

In the last three years, the GNECB have been involved in a massive nationwide trawl against solicitors who they suspect of being involved in criminal activity related to a number of separate cases.

Last October, the Sunday World revealed that a female solicitor was arrested by fraud squad detectives who are carrying out a major investigation into false insurance claims.

In her case, most of the false ‘compo’ claims related to fake traffic accidents that involve individuals that do not even exist as real people.

“Before the insurance company reported the matter to gardai they noticed certain similarities in the claims and attached medical reports which aroused suspicion,” a senior source said at the time.

“A doctor based in the UK is also under active investigation in relation to this case for providing false medical certs,” the source added.

Last March, a Munster based solicitor was arrested as part of another GNECB probe and was questioned about alleged deception and money laundering offences as well as allegedly giving misleading evidence under Section 25 of the Civil Liabilities Act.

A Dublin-based solicitor was arrested and released without charge in June, 2020, as part of the same investigation.

The gang at the centre of the case in which those two solicitors were arrested were involved in a number of bogus claims for ‘trips and falls’ against South Dublin County Council and Kildare County Council.

A woman is a key member of the family based organised crime gang are suspected of making up to 60 fraudulent claims against local authorities in Dublin and Kildare over a number of years which has netted them huge money.

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