Cab loses attempt to stop man's widow from disposing of assets
A HIGH Court judge has refused to grant the Criminal Assets Bureau orders restraining the widow of a man who was murdered 14 years ago from disposing of nine properties or reducing the funds in five bank accounts.
The bureau had claimed the properties and accounts represented the proceeds of crime by Patrick Farrell, who died after he was shot in September 1997.
Refusing the bureau’s application yesterday, Mr Justice Kevin Feeney said the court did not have sufficient evidence that the assets represented the proceeds of crime committed within this State. Money-laundering had not been established on the balance of probabilities, he said.
The bureau had sought orders freezing certain bank accounts and preventing Mr Farrell’s widow, Ann, from disposing of the property or assets. It also sought orders appointing a receiver over the properties and accounts.
It was claimed that Ms Farrell was now in control of most of the property, located in Monaghan, Louth and Tipperary, and it was also alleged that rental income was received from an apartment at the Sweepstakes complex in Balls- bridge, Dublin.
Mr Justice Feeney said this was a case where the Criminal Assets Bureau sought to apply the Proceeds of Crime Act, not to the person alleged to have been involved in crimes, but to defendants in possession or control of the property funded from such crimes.
In this case, the person allegedly involved in crime was murdered in 1997 and the properties were acquired in the 1970s and 1980s, the judge said.
The court had to decide whether it was unjust to require Ms Farrell to deal with the provenance of funds which applied so long ago.