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Two men face trial accused of stealing €250k in Celtic Tiger-era land deal

The two Louth men stand accused of tricking a man by telling them they were involved in a €35 million deal.

File photo
File photo
Image: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie

TWO LOUTH BUSINESSMEN have gone on trial accused of stealing €250,000 from a man by telling him they were investing in a €35 million Celtic Tiger-era land deal.

Anthony Roddy (64), of Dungooley, Kilcurry, Dundalk and Raymond Fee (34), of Millstream, Distillery Lane, Dundalk, have pleaded not guilty to stealing €250,000 from Kevin Brady in Dundalk on dates between September 22, 2006 and August 23, 2007.

Mr Roddy has also pleaded not guilty to dishonestly by deception inducing Mr Brady to provide a bank draft of €100,000 on the pretext it would be invested in shares on his behalf at Rampart Lane, Dundalk on March 3, 2007.

In opening the trial, Patrick McGrath SC, told the jury that the alleged victim, Kevin Brady, had received €1 million in compensation in 2006 as a result of a workplace accident.

He knew Mr Roddy was a wealthy man and Mr Brady had asked him about ways to make money. A short time later Mr Roddy contacted him and they made an arrangement to meet.

Mr Brady met Mr Roddy and Mr Fee some time later at The Avenue Inn in Dundalk. A proposal was put to Mr Brady by Mr Roddy.

He said there was piece of land north of Drogheda worth €35 million with outline planning permission for 250 apartments.

“This was the height of the Celtic tiger,” counsel said.

Mr Roddy said if €1 million was raised and put down as a deposit they could “flip over” the land for a substantial profit.

It was intended that there would be four investors , the three men at the meeting and a fourth unnamed person. Mr Brady went and got a €250,000 bank draft.

Mr Roddy allegedly later asked Mr Brady to become involved in a share portfolio and in March 2007 Mr Brady gave him a bank draft for €100,000 for investing in shares.

Mr McGrath said as time went on Mr Brady asked for his money back and became anxious.

He got some money back by way of bank draft from the joint account of Mr Roddy and Mr Fee. He received two amounts of €15,000 and one draft of €47,000.

He continued to ask about his money and was told the deal would go through by Christmas 2008 and then told it would take two years.

Mr Brady then heard the land had been bought and became alarmed because he had never agreed to buy the land.

Mr McGrath told the jury they would hear evidence about a visit by Mr Brady to Catherine Fee and Co solicitors and that following that visit he received a call from Mr Roddy who said something about selling a farm and giving him €250,000.

Mr Brady decided in May 2009 to go to the gardai and this led to the investigation which led to the charges.

Mr Roddy allegedly then contacted Mr Brady and offered €40,000 or €50,000 if he withdrew the complaints.

Mr McGrath told the jury it would hear evidence of what became of the €250,000 that was paid into a Ulster Bank partnership account owned by Mr Roddy and Mr Fee.

The trial continues next week before Judge Karen O’Connor and a jury.

Comments have been turned off as the case is now before the courts.

Read: Man charged with possession of first book to be banned in Ireland in nearly two decades

Read: Thief who broke into isolated home of All-Ireland winning captain jailed for nine months

About the author:

Conor Gallagher

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