herald

Thursday 24 January 2019

Couple with 'lavish lifestyle' to quit home CAB says was bought with crime money

Elaine Byrne
Elaine Byrne

A couple have agreed to vacate their home which the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) claims was acquired with the proceeds of crime.

Kenneth Carpenter and Elaine Byrne gave the undertaking at the High Court before Ms Justice Carmel Stewart to leave the house at Rowlagh Park, Clondalkin, Dublin, by July.

The CAB, which has various freezing orders against the couple, alleges Mr Carpenter is active in the sale and supply of drugs, has a number of previous convictions for drugs offences and associates with known criminals in south and west Dublin.

The bureau claims the couple had an affluent lifestyle and spent lavishly despite the fact there is no credible explanation for the source of their funds.

Money spent by them does not correlate with their known income, the CAB also claims.

An order was sought deeming the house, purchased for €317,000 in 2007, as acquired with the proceeds of crime.

The CAB claims Mr Carpenter submitted false information to obtain a mortgage for it.

He described himself as a car firm salesperson earning some €75,000 a year, but the CAB said Mr Carpenter did not work for that company.

The CAB claims the house is worth €220,000 but that €284,500 remains owing on it and that mortgage payments made on the property by Mr Carpenter came from the proceeds of his criminal conduct.

CAB officers claimed that extensive works have been done to the house, which has been finished to a high standard.

The renovations include the installation of CCTV to the front and back of the property.

Kenneth Carpenter
Kenneth Carpenter

The court heard that CAB officers seized a number of items from the house in May 2017, including €20,000 in cash and a bulletproof vest.

Rolex, Breitling and Hublot watches and a Chanel handbag estimated to be worth more than €70,000 were also discovered and seized by gardai.

The court heard the couple had travelled extensively in recent years.

Cruise

CAB claims that since 2010 they have spent around €20,000 on flights alone, to the UK, various European destinations and several trips to the United States where they went on a cruise, as well as to Mexico and Dubai.

It is claimed that in 2016 and 2017 Ms Byrne purchased thousands of euro worth of designer goods and had a platinum Brown Thomas loyalty card despite insisting her only source of income was her lone parent's allowance.

The court heard the couple had also consented to orders in relation to other items seized from them, which the CAB says are the proceeds of crime, included BMW and Citroen cars purchased in 2016 in exchange for cash and a trade-in.

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