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Former solicitor charged with fraud


Gardai have been investigating an alleged fraud by a former solicitor.

Gardai have been investigating an alleged fraud by a former solicitor.

Gardai have been investigating an alleged fraud by a former solicitor.

A former solicitor has been charged with seven counts of fraud amounting to 2.8 million euros.

Ruairi O Ceallaigh is accused of stealing the funds from seven client accounts within his family's law firm over a four year period.

Dublin District Court heard the 42-year-old, of Collegeland, Summerhill in Co Meath, was arrested by appointment this morning in the city.

O Ceallaigh was charged with dishonestly appropriating sums of cash - which ranged from 75,000 up to 1.5 million euro - on several dates between July 18, 2006 and May 28, 2010.

The money relates to the estates of seven clients of Sean O Ceallaigh & Co Solicitors in Phibsboro, north Dublin.

Detective sergeant Paschal Walsh told the court the accused made no reply when charged at the Bridewell Garda Station.

No allegations have been made against any other member of the O Ceallaigh family involved with the family business.

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Dressed in a dark suit, shirt and tie, O Ceallaigh - a former partner at the law firm - did not speak during the short hearing.

Judge Patricia McNamara granted bail on condition he lodge his own bond of 200 euro.

His elderly father Sean O Ceallaigh, from Castleknock, took the stand and agreed to lodge an independent surety of 5,000 euro.

There was no objection to bail and no conditions were sought.

Defence solicitor Michael Hanahoe told the judge his client had been aware the charges were coming and had made himself available to gardai.

The case was adjourned until January 16, when the book of evidence is expected to be served.

O Ceallaigh was charged under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice (Theft & Fraud) Offences Act, 2001.

It is alleged that between September 30 and November 27 2008 he dishonestly appropriated 1,551,366 euro from the company account in relation to a named estate.

The six remaining counts alleged he appropriated: 134,831.51 euro on March 13 2009; 151,078.41 euro on June 27, 2009; 250,000 euro on July 18, 2006; 509,646.25 euro between October 22 2009 and May 28 2010; 75,000 euro on October 22, 2009 and 144,644.74 euro between August 27 and September 30, 2009.

He is expected to stand trial before a judge and jury at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

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