Five members of Cork family sentenced for money laundering

Jonathan Heaphy (34) jailed for four years after pleading guilty to nine offences

Five members of a Cork family have been handed prison sentences after pleading guilty to money laundering offences in relation to more than €130,000.

Gardaí had found the sums in cash or account books hidden in their homes.

Helen Heaphy (52) and four of her adult children, Jonathan (34), Nicole (33), Jessica (22) and Daniel (21), pleaded guilty to varying money laundering charges when they were arraigned at Cork Circuit Criminal Court in February.

Today, Jonathan Heaphy, who pleaded guilty to nine offences under Section 7 of the Criminal Justice (Money Laundering ant Terrorist Financing) Act 2010, was sentenced to seven years in jail, with three years suspended.


Judge Sean Ó Donnabháin sentenced Helen Heaphy and her daughters Nicole Heaphy and Jessica Heaphy to two years in jail each but suspended each term, while he sentenced her son Daniel Heaphy to one year in jail and again suspended the sentence.

Det Sgt Clodagh O'Sullivan told the court that in total gardaí found more than €130,000 between cash and account books when they carried out searches of two houses on St Colman's Road in Farranree and Kerryhall Road in Farranree in February and March 2014.

Gardaí found €30,000 in cash hidden in the leg of a TV stand, while they found more than €26,000 in cash hidden a bag of frozen vegetables in a freezer. They found €3,000 in cash and a bank account book in a box of cornflakes and Post Office savings books under kick boards.

Det Sgt O’Sullivan said gardaí were satisfied both the cash and the money in the various accounts were the proceeds of crime, and they believed more than €90,000 of the cash or savings were under the control of Jonathan Heaphy of St Colman’s Road, Farranree.

Various explanations

Jonathan Heaphy had given various explanations for the cash, including that it represented the winnings from gambling, a loan from someone and the proceeds of a compensation claim, she told the court.

Jonathan Heaphy told interviewing gardaí after he was arrested for questioning that he also made over €10,000 from breeding dogs, but the Irish Kennel Club had no record of him as a breeder, Det Sgt O’Sullivan said.

Judge Ó Donnabháin said it was apparent Jonathan Heaphy had no mortgage on his house and had paid for it in cash, and defence counsel Majorie Farrelly SC said her client was still dealing with the Criminal Assets Bureau in relation to his finances.

Judge Ó Donnabháin said Jonathan Heaphy’s explanation as to how he came to have the money, which was all being held for his benefit or under his control, was “untruthful, devious and given to create as much confusion as possible”.

“The sentence has to contain a certain deterrent value. He was in control of money, and no doubt the money came from criminal sources. He knew that at all stages,” said Judge Ó Donnabháin, as he sentenced Jonathan Heaphy to seven years with three suspended.

Helen Heaphy, of Kerryhall Road, Farranree, pleaded guilty to a money laundering offence in relation to a post office account with €6,000 in it, while Nicole Heaphy of St Colman’s Road, Farranree pleaded guilty to three offences relating to sums of €2,000, €28,000 and €200.

Jessica Heaphy of Kerryhall Road pleaded guilty to having having €2,000 in cash and €4,000 in a post office account book at another address on Kerryhall Road, while Daniel Heaphy of Kerryhall Road pleaded guilty to having a sum of €10,000 at St Colman’s Road.

Barry Roche

Barry Roche

Barry Roche is Southern Correspondent of The Irish Times