Former boss of collapsed Custom House Capital to face trial

Harry Cassidy accused of misleading investors as to where and how assets were placed

Former CHC chief executive Harry Cassidy leaving court on Wednesday. Photograph: Tom Tuite

Former CHC chief executive Harry Cassidy leaving court on Wednesday. Photograph: Tom Tuite

 

The former chief executive of Custom House Capital (CHC), which collapsed with multimillion-euro losses, is to face trial accused of misleading investors.

Harry Cassidy, 64, was arrested by detectives from the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau (GNECB)on Wednesday morning.

Mr Cassidy, with an address at The Hill, Clon Brugh, Stepaside, Dublin 18, was charged with misleading customers and clients as to the where and how assets were placed in Custom House Capital, contrary to common law.

The offences are alleged to have happened from October 2008 until July 2011.

He appeared before Judge John Campbell at Dublin District Court.

GNECB detective David Coyne told the court that the accused had been arrested on foot of a warrant issued in March. The detective then handed in a copy of the warrant.

He said Mr Cassidy “made no reply to charge after caution”.

The Director of Public Prosecutions has directed trial on the indictment in the circuit court. There was also consent to him being sent forward to that court for sentencing on a signed plea, should that arise, Det Garda Coyne said.

There was no objection to bail but conditions were sought which required approval of two independent sureties, each in the sum of €10,000.

Defence solicitor Noel McCartan said the two people acting as sureties were in court and gardaí were satisfied of their financial ability to pay the bail money.

Mr Cassidy, who has not yet indicated how he will plead, remained silent during his hearing.

He was ordered to surrender his passport and not to apply for any new travel documentation. He was also warned by the judge that he must notify gardaí if he changes his address.

Legal aid

The defence solicitor said Mr Cassidy was making an application for legal aid but gardaí needed more time to consider it; that issue was left over until his next hearing.

He was remanded on bail to appear again at the same court on September 25th next for service of a book of evidence and to be returned for trial.

Four co-defendants are also due back in court on the same date.

Former CHC director John Mulholland (70), from Salthill, Monkstown, Co Dublin; the firm’s ex-investment director John Whyte (50), of Beechpark, Lucan, Co Dublin; the investment broker’s head of finance Paul Lavery (43), with an address at Rafeenan, Ballinode, Co Monaghan; and former portfolio manager Ciara Kelleher of Martin Close, Blackhorse Avenue, Dublin 7 were charged earlier and had appeared in court in June.

They are also accused of misleading investors as to the where and how assets were placed in the investment firm from October 2008 until July 2011.

The court heard that Ms Kelleher’s reply to the charge was “I am innocent”; the other three co-defendants made no reply when they were charged, the court was told on June 12th last.

They remain on bail and must reside at their current addresses.

They had to surrender passports and the court has ordered them to “have no contact directly or indirectly with co-accused or any witnesses in the case”. They also had to provide gardaí with their mobile phone numbers and must sign on once a week at local Garda stations.