Operator of Dr Quirkey’s casino and arcade in Dublin uncovers €2m alleged fraud

Latest accounts for Dublin Pool and Juke Box Ltd outline alleged misappropriation of funds

An alleged €2 million fraud has been uncovered at Dr Quirkey’s Good Time Emporium on Dublin’s O’Connell Street.

The disclosure is contained in new consolidated accounts for Dublin Pool and Juke Box Ltd. The accounts show that the alleged misappropriation of funds at the arcade and casino operator totalled €1.017 million in 2019 and €1.009 million in 2018.

The business is owned by businessman, Richard Quirke, 75.

In the newly-filed 2019 accounts, the directors report reveals that “in December 2020, the company discovered that it was the subject of a fraud in the business”.

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In 2019, the alleged fraud comprised €887,000 under ‘misappropriation of cash’ and ‘misappropriated bank payments’ of €130,190.

The alleged fraud in 2018 comprises €912,000 as ‘misappropriation of cash’, and €97,203 under ‘misappropriated bank payments’. The company has written off the amounts.

The directors state that after it was discovered “a thorough and comprehensive forensic investigation led by external financial consultants into the company’s systems and processes was carried out”.

“This led to the identification of unpaid taxation and interest liabilities, which have been fully accrued in the company’s accounts,” they added.

The accounts disclose €296,813 interest was paid on overdue tax in 2019 and €154,784 was paid out under the same heading in 2018.

A note to the accounts states that the company “is currently the subject of a Revenue investigation, the outcome of which is uncertain at present”.

In its report, the auditor, Colm Malone of Rush Malone & Company, states that the “company did not undertake regular cash counts and did not have an appropriate system of recording all cash movements”.

The auditor was unable to “obtain sufficient appropriate audit evidence regarding all cash movements during the period by using other audit procedures”.

The directors state that the company has since “implemented an extensive and wide-ranging programme of governance and operational improvements at all levels within the organisation”.

These include new manual and electronic systems to manage cash handling, new security measures around cash handling and cash collection, and new management control systems.

On February 4th of this year, Debbie Lawrence, Andrew Quirke and Austin Kenny were appointed to the board.

The accounts for the year to the end of June 2019 were due to be filed in 2020 but were only signed off on March 8th this year.

The alleged fraud contributed to the firm recording pre-tax losses of €1.27 million in the end 12 months to the end of June 2019, and pre-tax losses of €1.03 million in fiscal 2018.

This company’s revenues increased by 33 per cent from €7.6 million to €10.1 million in 2019 as the business expanded.

When asked if a complaint had been received about the alleged fraud, a Garda spokesman said on Sunday that it “does not comment on named entities”.

Dr Quirkey’s Good Time Emporium did not respond to a request for comment.

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times