Alleged fuel smuggler questions ‘crazy figure’ for unpaid taxes

Damien McGleenan’s company DMG Energy Ltd on tax defaulters’ list as owing €9.1m

The company operated petrol station/convenience stores in Tipperary, Mayo, Roscommon and Donegal, the High Court was told in 2015 by liquidator George Maloney, who was appointed to DMG in 2013 by Revenue. Photograph: iStock

The company operated petrol station/convenience stores in Tipperary, Mayo, Roscommon and Donegal, the High Court was told in 2015 by liquidator George Maloney, who was appointed to DMG in 2013 by Revenue. Photograph: iStock

 

Co Armagh businessman Damien McGleenan has said the Revenue Commissioners “wouldn’t listen” to his accountant and came up with a “crazy figure” when it decided his fuel company owed €9.1 million in unpaid taxes, interest and penalties.

He said what had happened with his company, DMG Energy Ltd, in relation to taxes was “categorically wrong” and, while he was not saying he was “totally innocent”, he was unhappy with the way Revenue had handled the investigation into his company’s affairs.

DMG Energy Ltd, formerly of Dundalk, Co Louth, and now in liquidation, was listed on the tax defaulters’ list on Tuesday as owing €9.1 million in excise duty and underdeclared VAT, of which more than half (€5.7 million) was interest and penalties.

The company was incorporated in 2010 and put into liquidation in 2013. Its directors were Mr McGleenan (54) and his brother, Francis Joseph McGleenan (53), both of Keady, Co Armagh.

The company operated petrol station/convenience stores in Tipperary, Mayo, Roscommon and Donegal, the High Court was told in 2015 by liquidator George Maloney, who was appointed to DMG in 2013 by Revenue.

The company had not sourced fuel from established distributors but from unlicensed entities, the court was told.

‘Manners’

Speaking from the Centra shop and petrol station in Keady, which Damien McGleenan said is owned by his brother, Francis Joseph, Mr McGleenan said the Revenue Commissioners “didn’t have the manners” to notify him prior to the publication of his company’s name in the tax defaulters’ list.

It was only when the list was published on Tuesday that he first heard mention of the €9.1 million debt, he said. “I’m wondering how in the name of blazes they got that figure.

“I could go through the whole thing with you, but it would get me nowhere. Why should I sit here and go back over old ground, from years ago?”

Mr McGleenan, Francis Joseph, and another brother, Joseph (48), were the subject of a €12 million freeze order granted by the High Court in Belfast in 2007, arising from an investigation into alleged fuel smuggling by Mr McGleenan.

The court granted the Assets Recovery Agency (ASA) permission to seize control of 36 houses on both sides of the Border. Mr McGleenan and his two brothers arrived at a settlement with the ASA for £6 million in 2009.

Filling station

The UK’s Serious Organised Crime Agency later seized a filling station and property in Belfast, because of a default on the 2009 deal.

Mr McGleenan said he was “not a totally innocent person, but as to what I’ve done in Northern Ireland, I’ve paid my dues”.

In a Belfast court ruling in 2006, Sir Declan Morgan noted evidence existed indicating fuel transactions involving a Co Monaghan oil company and Mr McGleenan, valued at more than £4.5 million.

The judge said Mr McGleenan had, during an interview in 2001, stated books in his house “apparently relating to fuel smuggling transactions, were connected to a third person whom he could not safely name”.

The judge said there were good, arguable grounds for believing Mr McGleenan was involved in fuel smuggling, and his 2001 interview “suggests the involvement of other serious criminal elements”.