Friday, October 30, 2020

Ex-psychic convicted of theft, money laundering and fraud involving more than €1.6million

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A FORMER psychic who claimed he’d be “the stupidest money launderer ever” if he committed a crime has been convicted of stealing and laundering €1.6m.

Simon Gold, 54, had pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to 22 charges including money laundering, theft, deception and control of false instruments on dates between January 1, 2010 and October 22, 2012.

The jury returned a verdict of guilty on 20 counts and returned a verdict of not guilty on a count of deception relating to €28,000 transferred by Justin Burke from Co Galway, to an account linked to Gold.

Judge Martin remanded Gold in custody and adjourned the matter for sentencing on July 31.

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The trial heard Gold represented himself as a highly qualified financier, merchant banker and financial consultant.

It was the State’s case that four Irish men who were unable to secure bank loans approached Gold seeking loans of large sums of money.

Lorcan Staines SC, prosecuting, told the jury in 2011 these men were deceived into transferring what they believed were down payments into bank accounts controlled by Gold.

The men gave evidence of transferring a total of €28,000 and £50,000 into accounts linked to Gold. None of the loans ever came through for them.

‘STUPIDEST’

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Kurt Lauridsen, a Danish businessman, said he transferred two tranches of €800,000 in October, 2012, into what he thought was a bank account controlled by himself and his
lawyer, but was in fact an Ulster Bank account in Dublin controlled by Gold.

He said he was later contacted by gardai and informed that the account had been frozen.

In an interview with gardai, Gold, of Augharan, Aughavas, Co Leitrim, agreed he had dispersed some of the funds into various accounts, including into an account in the name of Niall O’Donoghue.

The jury heard that Gold also accepted he used the names Simon Gold, Simon Gould, Simon Magnier and Niall O’Donoghue and acknowledged he is responsible for an Ulster Bank account in the name of Anglo Irish Global Ltd.

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