Law enforcement in Ireland is a joke

The mosquito was focused, hungry and determined to get his fill of blood as he swooped towards the massive rump of the elephant’s rear end. Alas, all his ambitions, hopes and puffed up self importance were instantly snuffed out with one contemptuous flick of the elephant’s tail.

And so it was that Paul Appleby, Director of Corporate Enforcement, was summarily dismissed by the Supreme Court when he tried to obtain a disqualification order against certain personnel at DCC in relation to the recent insider dealing case.

The principal target of ODCE is Jim Flavin of DCC who was found guilty of insider trading by the Supreme Court last July (Sub. Re’q). One of the judges, Mr. Justice Fennelly, said;

“To trade on the use of inside information is recognised for what it is. It is a fraud on the market.”

Actually the judge is wrong. If insider trading in Ireland was recognised for the fraud it is there would have been immediate action from at least some of the many so called regulatory bodies involved.

Nobody has moved. All the so called enforcement and regulatory agencies of the state, the police, the Director of Public Prosecutions, Revenue, the Stock Exchange, The Association of Investment Mangers who allegedly oversee corporate governance in listed companies – all acting like frightened rabbits caught in the glare of a bright light.

The ODCE, in what can only be described as a laughable and pointless gesture, arrived unannounced in court to ask the judge to grant a disqualification order. The judge told him to take a hike.

Paul Appleby put a brave face on the humiliating dismissal (RTE News, 6th item).

“In dismissing my application, the issue of a potential disqualification in these proceedings is now open I have therefore achieved my primary objective in taking this application.”

I have no idea if Paul Appley lives his life under a constant state of delusion but if he thinks he is going to succeed in his aim of obtaining a disqualification order against Jim Flavin or any other dodgy character who may have been involved in this fraud, then in this regard at least, he is most certainly living a delusion.

For over three years Mr. Appleby has been trying to obtain a similar order against nine former National Irish Bank ‘characters’ who were in charge at a time when the bank robbed millions directly from customers accounts and indirectly from the State through the operation of major tax evasion scams.

Only one order has been successful and that’s because the man involved is retired, has no involvement in business and decided not to fight the case.

Mr. Appleby has also, to date, spectacularly failed (Sub. re’q) in his attempts to have the Bailey brothers disqualified. These fraudsters recently came to an ‘arrangement’ with Revenue for over €22 million.

The bottom line is that law enforcement in Ireland is a joke, a farce, especially when it comes to white collar crime.

I recently cited the case of P. Nacchio convicted in the US of insider trading. He was sentenced to six years in prison, fined $19 million and ordered to forfeit $52 he earned in illegal stock.

Now that’s law enforcement.