Wednesday, 29 September 2020

ONLINE Robbers

Cyber bank-robbers have been hard at work in the UK and presumably elsewhere as well. Police have found a gang that raided customer accounts thanks to details gleaned from computers infected with trojans. UK cops, who have arrested 19 people, say £6 million was stolen by the gang, a figure they expect to increase as they investigate. Read about it here.

Thursday, 23 September 2020

PLANNING corruption

Former town councillor Fred Forsey and horse breeder Michael Ryan have been charged with corruption over payments made to influence planning decisions in Dungravan, County Waterford. Ryan is accused of making three payments to Forsey between 2004 and 2006. The case has been referred to Waterford Circuit Court for trial. Read more here.

Monday, 20 September 2020

HARDER for carders

IN the United States a businessman was jailed for his role in facilitating the world-wide trade in stolen credit card details. Cesar Carranza got six years in jail for helping the criminal gangsters launder and transfer their ill-gotten gains. He was connected into the dark net networks known at the Shadowcrew and CarderPlanet. It's a reminder that there are people out there working flat out to find ways to steal your money. Read the full story here in Wired.

Friday, 17 September 2020

LAWYER roulette

This week more news emerged of how Ireland's rogue lawyers have been operating with impunity for years. Ruari O'Ceallaigh was in the High Court after a Law Society investigation found he had gambled clients' cash on the stock market and used clients' cash to buy his house leaving a €4.3 million hole in the accounts. Read it here.
The problem in Ireland is that lawyers don't have to answer to anyone unless something goes wrong and they can't cover up their fraud, negligence or mistakes. It's a real drudge for anyone who tries to take a case to the Law Society which last year dealt with over 1,700 complaints. It's a self-regulating closed shop that needs a boot up the arse.

Here's some other members of the legal profession who have recently gotten into trouble over being given too much trust.

1. Michael Lynn (picture right) - multiple mortgages on several properties costing €80 million.

2. Thomas Byrne - multiple mortgages on several properties costing €40 million.

3. Michael Small, Limerick had a secret client account that was €1.25 million in the red.

4. Eamon Comiskey, Portlaoise, never got around to discharging mortgages on four properties leaving clients liable to pay off the loans.

5. Mary Miley, Wicklow, got loans worth €1.25 million in her maiden name.

6. Joseph Traynor, Dundalk, created fraudulent transactions, one worth €7 million and one property seller was left €800,000 out of pocket.

7. Desmond O'Brien, County Clare, struck off this month for 'misappropriating' €119,131 along with other counts of misconduct including buying a €32,000 car with client cash.

8. Michael J Murphy, Salthill, Galway was struck off in June over 90 counts of misconduct including deducting too much from clients' settlement cash.

By the way if anyone has seen Michael Lynn, drop me an email.

Thursday, 16 September 2020

CARD sharks

I wrote about a couple whose PIN number was 'shoulder-surfed' while shopping at Tesco's. Gerry Buckley told me how his wife Katherine had used a credit card to pay for shopping. Little did she know that she was being watched as she used the key pad at the check out. Another member of the gang then distracted her as she loaded shopping into her car while her purse was lifted and her cards taken out. The couple lost €11,000 and their bank are claiming it's their own fault. Security camera footage showed one of the gang watched from about 14 feet away as she keyed in her number. Today Liveline picked up on the Sunday World story and interviewed Katherine. Listen here.

Monday, 13 September 2020

CASH Kings

The world's criminals, it appears, kept the global financial systems from collapse. As credit dried up in 2008 the gangsters were the only available source of liquid cash and it duly flowed into the system where it was laundered, ironed and re-born crisp clean money. A mere $352 billion. The UN Office on Drugs and Crime pretty much admitted that the story is accurate and estimates suggest the world's criminal economy makes up about a fifth of all transactions. It is the stuff of spy novels. Read more about it here.

Friday, 10 September 2020

GREEN card

An Irish immigrant service in Boston has warned about bogus lawyers promising people a green card to allow them work and live legally in the United States. Lawyer Paul Lavery warned people about handing cash over to people promising inside knowledge of the immigration system. Anyone who has heard of Ralph Cucciniello will know this is an age-old scam. Serial con-artist Cucciniello caught several hundred Irish immigrants for thousands of dollars in a clever scam. He successfully gave the impression he was a lawyer based in Yale where he really did some volunteer researching for a professor. He's now in jail doing 30 years after he was snared by Irish private-eye Olwyn Triggs. Read about him in The Fraudsters.

Thursday, 9 September 2020


Breifne O'Brien is back in the news again today as news emerged of a creditors meeting to wind up his taxi firm. Read here. O'Brien, who cut a dash about town during the Celtic Tiger days has been likened to Bernie Madoff in that he used used social contacts to get people to invest in his pyramid scheme. The comparisons stop there, considering O'Brien swindled a mere €20 million compared to Madoff's $50 billion. Also Madoff was locked up and the key thrown away within five months. Meanwhile O'Brien and other Irish Madoffs have been free to come and go, no doubt checking out their foreign properties and assets and even enjoying the odd round of golf. If only Bernie had based himself in Dublin.

Wednesday, 8 September 2020

BOGUS jockey

Bogus jockey Terry Kirby is back in the saddle after his release from jail in Ireland last month. Within days of his release from a sentence for theft and fraud Terry was back at what he does best. A man matching his description swiped a car from a racing stable on the Curragh, County Kildare after posing as an English professional jockey. He was later spotted at Tipperary racecourse and again in Kilkenny city. The next victim was a Kilkenny bookmaker who lost his Mercedes, before Kirby was spotted by Turf Club officials at a race meeting in Killarney, County Kerry. Since that last sighting two weeks ago Terry hasn't been seen in Ireland. Hold onto to your wallet if you meet a jockey who claims his car has broken down. To read a previous story about Terry click here.