Accountant and brother charged in €1.2m theft and money laundering case

Case involves allegedly fictitious expenses ‘siphoned’ from a financial services firm

An accountant and his brother have been charged with theft and money laundering after almost €1.2 million in allegedly fictitious expenses was "siphoned" from a financial services firm in Dublin.

Vipul Dhoot (35), with an address at Hallwell Place, Lucan, Co Dublin, was charged with 10 counts of stealing various sums totalling €293,803 on dates last year, from a city centre firm where he held a senior position.

His younger brother, Rajeesh Dhoot (29), of St Patrick's Court, Clanbrassil Street, Dublin, was charged with six counts of possessing €46,000 in crime proceeds.

They were arrested following an investigation by the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau.

The brothers, who are originally from India but living and working in Ireland for a number of years, appeared before Judge Brian O'Shea at Dublin District Court on Monday.

Det Garda Ronan Farrelly told the court Vipul Dhoot made no reply after he was charged. He objected to bail citing the seriousness of the case and flight risk concerns.

Sample charges

The charges before the court represented a sample and the full investigation related to the theft of just close to €1.2 million from January 2019 until November last year, he told Judge O’Shea.

It was alleged Vipul Dhoot claimed fictitious expenses to be paid to a service provider which was legitimately used by his accountancy firm.

The investigation resulted in the accountant’s home being searched. Documentation and computer data was recovered, the contested bail application was told. The detective said that, earlier this year, Vipul Dhoot had surrendered his passport to the investigating gardaí. However, he alleged the accused later tried to apply for a new one and went to his local station claiming he lost his passport.

Complex investigation

Questioned by the defence, he accepted the married father-of-one did not have any history of bench warrants and had lived in Ireland for seven years.

Pleading for bail, Mr Coveney said his client would not face trial until the end of 2023 or perhaps the following year. Refusal of bail could mean a lengthy period in custody on remand. It was a very complex investigation and his client was presumed innocent, he submitted.

Judge O'Shea refused to grant him bail and remanded the accountant in custody pending the preparation of a book of evidence. He will face his next hearing at Cloverhill District Court on Friday.

There was no objection to bail for Rajeesh Dhoot but he was ordered to abide by conditions, including surrendering his passport and signing on daily at a Garda station.

Judge O'Shea has refused jurisdiction meaning the two men, subject to the consent of the Director of Public Prosecutions, will face circuit court trial. Neither has indicated a plea.