The scam artists from among the Rathkeale travellers won’t be looking back fondly at 2011. It was a year when Rathkeale made global headlines first thanks to the series of rhino horn thefts across Europe and then the eviction at Dale Farm. TV crews arrived in the County Limerick village to find out all about the Rathkealers and their way of doing business.
It was also the year that Irish law was exposed as being inadequate when it comes to dealing with white-collar crime. Fugitive solicitor Michael Lynn is reported now to be in Brazil while the investigations into Anglo Irish Bank slowly grind on. At the other end of the scale rogue builder Patrick Dunne is still in business despite a decade of rip-offs.
On the upside victims of Swank Franky de Dietrich learned that they may get some of their cash back after the Criminal Assets Bureau held onto the proceeds of frozen bank accounts.
Two of Ireland’s prolific lifestyle fraudsters Frankie Shanley and Terry Kirby are in jail, while the government are closing in on more and more people who indulge in welfare fraud.
The 419 emails still keep coming while the cold-callers from the boiler room scams haven’t let up. As 2012 gets going remember that as far as the scam artists are concerned it’s business as usual.