‘Fraudster’ still out there after wrong man arrested

Police have been on the lookout for suspect for more than 3 years over alleged finance crimes
Court: John Kelleher is still wanted by police

Court: John Kelleher is still wanted by police

Eamon Dillon

AN alleged financial fraudster is still wanted by police after the wrong man had been arrested and charged in court this week.

Police in Northern Ireland thought they had John Kelleher, who has lived in Cork, in custody after he was picked up by officers in Wales earlier this week.

The man who appeared in court last Monday as the wanted suspect did not speak up at the time to tell the authorities of the mistake.

This weekend the Police Service of Northern Ireland confirmed that their officers acting on information from colleagues in Wales travelled there to make the arrest.

"On returning to Northern Ireland and following a thorough and diligent investigation by PSNI officers it transpired that the person arrested was not the wanted person," said a spokesperson.

He has since been released from custody.

At this week's court hearing, before the arrested man's identity had been established, it emerged that the real fraud suspect has been dodging police for the last three years.

Kelleher is accused of taking £16,000 from a woman in a financial investment scheme.

It is alleged that he acted as a financial adviser but he instead pocketed his client's cash.

During the hearing at Lisburn Magistrates Court via video-link from police custody, the court that 'Kelleher' had been charged with fraud by false representation between January 1, 2016 and March 31, 2017.

A detective told the court how the alleged fraud related to financial investments where Kelleher was given £16,135 to invest but, "no documentation was given and there was no correspondence at all."

The court heard that Kelleher was subject to a European Arrest Warrant.

The man who appeared in court before Judge Liam McStay this week represented himself and appeared to be in a dishevelled state but didn't explain that he was not the wanted man.

The man has since been released from custody and the fraud charge withdrawn.

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