Judgement has been granted in favour of seven people who invested almost €13m with businessman Breifne O’Brien who misappropriated the funds in an alleged ‘Pyramid’ scheme.
The presiding Judge directed that the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation be given details of the court proceedings. The judge also granted a new injunction requiring Breifne O’Brien not to reduce his assets below €14.5m and denied a request that the case be heard in camera insisting instead that proceedings should be held in public.
O’Brien was told that he had lived a lie for fifteen years and that his investors were victims of a confidence trick which was not particularly sophisticated.
Compare this case to the Sean Fitzpatrick scandal at Anglo Irish Bank.
Fitzpatrick lived a lie for eight years as he moved his massive loan from bank to bank in a not very sophisticated scheme designed to deceive thousands of investors in his bank.
Because of his dishonesty thousands of shareholders have lost millions and the very stability of the banking system and the economy has been threatened.
So what happened to this chancer?
The Government and so called Financial Regulator immediately acted to defend Fitzpatrick saying that his actions, while disappointing, were not illegal. They are almost certainly wrong in this assessment.
They have further protected Fitzpatrick by keeping all details of his actions and the financial situation at Anglo Irish Bank a State secret. No action has been taken to freeze his assets and he is not under investigation by the police.
The completely discredited Financial Regulator is, allegedly, investigating Fitzpatrick. This, of course, is a joke. Even the most disinterested observer must now realise that the regulator acts only in the interests of chancers like Fitzpatrick. The interests of the country or its people do not enter the frame.
Sean Fitzpatrick is, as I write, in South Africa on a golfing holiday. He didn’t flee the country in panic and fear that he might be brought to account. Apparently, ‘Seanie’ doesn’t like the dark month of January and so heads off every year to sunnier climes to cheer himself up.
He has absolutely nothing to fear, he will be allowed to keep all his money; he will not have to pay back his loans; he will never be made to account for the thousands of lives he has devastated. Like every member of the Golden Circle Fitzpatrick is not subject to the laws of the land and enjoys total State protection no matter what he does.