Former Central Bank employee arrested over alleged conspiracy
Gardaí say man tried to destroy evidence and paid €17,000 in bribes to conceal the crime
Garda National Economic Crime Bureau conducted searches earlier this year in Dublin, Waterford, Wicklow and Meath as part of this investigation and seized files and electronic storage devices.
A former Central Bank employee was arrested on Tuesday as part of a Garda investigation into an alleged conspiracy to carry out a corrupt act.
Gardaí began the investigation after the arrested man’s former employer reported a suspicion that the man had falsified records and deceived his clients into believing he had processed their applications for a Central Bank licence, which is required for a range of financial services roles.
“This fraudulent activity involved using the personal details of current employees, without their authorisation,” gardaí said in a statement.
“Further to this, the male attempted to destroy evidence of this criminal activity. Corrupt payments, totalling €17,000, were also made in the form of bribes in order to conceal this criminal activity.
The statement said the “Garda National Economic Crime Bureau conducted searches earlier this year in Dublin, Waterford, Wicklow and Meath as part of this investigation. During the course of these searches, files and electronic storage devices were seized.”
The man who was arrested is in his 40s and is being held under Section 50 of the Criminal Justice Act in a west Dublin Garda station.
The Irish Times understands the former Central Bank worker was offering his services, legitimately and on a consultancy basis, to people who needed to apply to the Central Bank for licences.
It is understood he was aiding people as they applied for licences, which is permitted.
Last year two people who used the consultant’s services apparently became dissatisfied at, what they perceived as, the slow rate of progress with the work the man was carrying out for them.
That work included securing Garda vetting and licences from the Central Bank.
The former Central Bank employee later sent both of his dissatisfied clients’ correspondence from the Garda and the Central Bank as proof that their applications had been lodged and were under consideration.
Gardaí believe both of the man’s clients suspected the correspondence purporting to come from the Central Bank and the Garda about their applications was not genuine.
A dispute then emerged between the former Central Bank employee and his clients, both of whom demanded the return of their fees.
There was also a request for an additional “compensation” payment to be paid by the former Central Bank employee.
The Irish Times understands the former Central Bank employee agreed to pay sums to both of his dissatisfied clients and that at least some of the money was paid.
Gardaí are trying to establish if an agreement was then reached stipulating the payments by the former Central Bank worker to his two former clients would be the end of the matter, that gardaí would not be alerted and any correspondence or records relating to the dispute would not be retained.
While the former Central Bank employee was arrested on Tuesday for questioning about alleged conspiracy to commit a corrupt act, other alleged aspects of the dispute are also under investigation.
Gardaí are also examining if there was an agreement reached stating gardaí would not be alerted and records would not be retained. Any such agreement may be an offence in itself, sources said.
Gardaí were expected to speak to the two dissatisfied clients of the former Central Bank worker.
A number of solicitors were also expected to be spoken to in a bid to establish if they had any information about the alleged dispute, however peripheral.
These solicitors work for the men at the centre of the alleged dispute and may have information arising from those professional relationships, gardaí said.