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Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Limerick business man coughs up over €26m

A billionaire Limerick businessman has agreed to pay €26m (18m Sterling) to the UK's Assets Recovery Agency and the Garda Criminal Assets Bureau in a settlement reached today.

The computer chip billionaire has been under investigation by both agencies for a number of years.

From BBC News:

Mr Creaven, 32, who lives in London but is from Ennis, County Clare, was acquitted of VAT fraud at Southwark Crown Court in 2005. In a subsequent investigation by the recovery agencies, his assets were frozen. About £12m will be handed over to the ARA and the remainder will go to the CAB in the Republic of Ireland, by 12 October. Acquittal In a statement, the ARA said the agreement was reached after a mediation process. Mr Creaven had agreed to hand over a total of £18m as well as his luxury villa in Marbella and four racehorses, one of which won the 2005 Galway Hurdle. In 2005, Mr Creaven stood trial for VAT fraud following an investigation by HM Revenue and Customs into allegations that he played a principal part in an international missing trader VAT fraud through his computer chip business in the Republic of Ireland.

He was acquitted but the ARA and CAB subsequently investigated him and obtained a freezing order on his assets. Jane Earl, ARA director said it
was the largest result so far. "It demonstrates the power of civil recovery
legislation in taking away the fruits of unlawful activity," she said. "This case means that a proportion of the money stolen from the taxpayer through VAT fraud will be returned to the public purse, and it represents a significant achievement in the fight against VAT fraud which is not a victimless crime." >

He has also agreed to hand over a villa in Marbella and four racehorses.

Limerick millionaire walks free after settlement - Irish Examiner
Businessman to pay £18.5 million to ASA and CAB - 4ni.co.uk
Limerick man agrees €26m settlement - U.Tv
Man to hand over £18m assets - BBC News

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