herald

Wednesday 7 December 2016

Former radio financial adviser to be sentenced over €109,000 scam

A FORMER on-air financial adviser with Newstalk who carried out a €109,000 life insurance scam will be sentenced next week.

Clare Dooley (43), who later founded Moneybloom which helped restructure loans for those in mortgage distress, committed the offences following a failed business venture in 2011.

Dooley was due to be sentenced yesterday at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court by Judge Desmond Hogan, but the prosecution told the court “certain matters” needed to be clarified by the State and it would be to everyone’s benefit to adjourn sentencing for a short period.

Judge Hogan asked if the DPP was asking for an adjournment because further charges were being brought against Dooley.

Maddie Grant, for the DPP, said that “at the moment this is not the case” and she was constrained from saying more.

Dooley, of Hillcrest, Julianstown, Co Meath, pleaded guilty to 10 counts of making and using false declaration forms at New Ireland Assurance, Dawson Street, Dublin, and in the State between November 23, 2010 and September 27, 2011.

Gda Niamh Seberry told Ms Grant a complaint was made to gardai in February 2013 by New Ireland Assurance regarding 38 fictitious life insurance policies that had been taken out by Dooley using false information.

Intermediary

Dooley had a financial services company and was working as an intermediary between clients and the insurance company. She sent in the application forms and received commission.

The company began an investigation in 2011 after noticing a huge rise in the commission paid to Dooley in a short period of time. Dooley had been paid €109,000 in commission from the 38 fake policies.

Dooley was arrested after garda searches at her home and business unearthed relevant documentation. The people named in the polices were unaware they had been taken out.

Defence counsel Lorcan Staines submitted that the

motive had not been permanent theft of the money and that she would ultimately not have profited from the offences.

Mr Staines said Dooley set up the false policies and was paying the premiums to keep them live.

He said she and her husband were in severe financial difficulties in 2011 following a failed business venture.

When heavily pregnant with her second child, Dooley found herself the sole breadwinner after her husband fell into a depression. They were not entitled to social welfare as both were self-employed.

Mr Staines asked the court to take into account her guilty pleas, the destruction of her standing in the community and the effect on her family.

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