Belfast Telegraph

Sunday Life

Northern Ireland fraudster Jay Cartmill has crossed the Provos

IRA businesses used to launder 'mule' money

Jay Cartmill
Jay Cartmill
Patrick Manning
Louise Branney
Disney World in Florida
Ciaran Barnes

By Ciaran Barnes

A SENIOR Provo is hunting serial fraudster Jay Cartmill after he learned the thief was secretly laundering cash from his £1m 'money mule' scam through his businesses.

The IRA veteran fears detectives from the PSNI's Economic Crimes Unit will forensically examine his company accounts, leading to possible criminal charges.

What has enraged the republican most is that he had no clue about Cartmill's £1m scam which is now the biggest ongoing fraud case in Northern Ireland.

Detectives are investigating more than 200 'mule' cases where people allowed their bank accounts to be used for stolen cash transfers.

Many of these are linked to Cartmill, with police suspecting the withdrawn money was laundered through several IRA-backed companies.

The businesses are officially owned by a leading Provo who has been one of the organisation's main financial figures.

"If we needed money, that's who provided it," said a republican source referring to the businessman. "Jay Cartmill is a foolish boy for crossing him."

Sign In

After Sunday Life last week lifted the lid on Cartmill's latest racket he panicked, telling friends that he has cancelled a planned sunshine Christmas break to Disney World in Florida.

2019-12-22_sun_55795859_I3.JPG
Disney World in Florida

Expensive holidays are the 37-year-old's biggest weakness - he recently enjoyed a Champagne helicopter flight to the Arctic Circle to see the Northern Lights.

A criminal source told us: "Jay's few remaining friends have turned on him after they heard how pensioners and the sick were the victims of his fraud.

"Now he has the Provos on his back because he was secretly laundering the money mule money through its businesses. Jay's panicking and has cancelled his Christmas holiday to Florida. He is really feeling the pressure."

Cartmill has more than 100 convictions for frauds totalling more than £500,000 going back 17 years. The west Belfast man's victims include celebrities Stephen Nolan and Eamonn Holmes who he fleeced for more than £50,000.

Afraid of going to jail again he uses several middle-men to sweet-talk skint 'money mules' into allowing cash stolen from the savings of pensioners and the sick to be transferred into their own accounts. What they are not told is that they will eventually be caught.

Giving evidence in court last month Detective Sergeant Reid from the PSNI's Economic Crimes Unit revealed of the 215 cases being investigated 75 have been dealt with by, or are going through, the court system.

Dozens of people have already been convicted including Paddy Manning (72), Louise Branney (34), Anthony McCool (32) and Karen Gilmore (39), who are all from west Belfast.

2019-12-22_sun_55795690_I1.JPG
Patrick Manning

Many of these 'money mules' were recruited by an ex-Cliftonville footballer working on behalf of Cartmill.

Before the scam was exposed by this newspaper he had been offering potential 'mules' £1,500 in return for them allowing their bank accounts to be used for stolen £10,000 transfers.

The transfers never go above this figure as it would alert money laundering reporting requirements and anti-fraud investigators.

2019-12-22_sun_55795760_I2.JPG
Louise Branney

Since Sunday Life's report last week the former footballer has gone to ground fearing arrest.

Criminal sources revealed such is his greed he even recruited his elderly grandmother as a 'money mule'. Her home was searched last month by the PSNI and she is now facing prosecution.

Another of Cartmill's middle-men, who is heavily involved in the local snooker scene, shamefully convinced his children and siblings to have stolen cash transferred into their accounts. They too are also among the 215 cases being investigated by police.

On January 16 detectives involved in the case will give evidence in Belfast Crown Court at a scheduled 'super hearing' to outline the huge extent of the £1m 'money mule' fraud.

This newspaper called to Cartmill's home to offer him a right to reply to the new thieving allegations, however he did not take us up on the offer.

cbarnes@sundaylife.co.uk

Belfast Telegraph

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph