Financial advisor didn’t pass on 129 lodgements from clients, court hears

Former FF councillor denies 21 sample counts of obtaining money by deception

Gardai identified 129 payments into two accounts nominated by a financial advisor which were never passed on to a series of lending institutions on behalf of two people in financial distress, a trial has heard.

Financial advisor and solicitor, Gary O'Flynn (38)) with an address at Hayfield Drive, Castle Court, Whitechurch, Co Cork denies 13 sample counts that he obtained monies totalling €1,000 by deception from Eric Higgins between December 31st 2009 and January 27th 2012.

A former Fianna Fail member of Cork City Council, Mr O'Flynn also denies a further eight sample counts of obtaining monies totalling €341 by deception from Deborah O'Shea between October 29th 2009 and August 24th 2012.

Yesterday (thurs) at Cork Circuit Criminal Court, Det Garda Michael Horgan of the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation told the jury of eight men and four women that as part of his investigation into complaints by Mr Higgins and Ms O'Shea, he checked bank records.


He examined records relating to an account at AIB Bank on South Mall in Cork and an account at Bank of Ireland in Blackpool which were both nominated by Mr O'Flynn for the payment of lodgement of monies by both Mr Higgins and Ms O'Shea.

Det Garda Horgan said that he identified 21 separate lodgements by Mr Higgins to the AIB Bank account and a further separate 75 lodgements by Mr Higgins to the Bank of Ireland account on dates between November 2009 and April 2011 with the monies totalling €6,375.

He also identified eleven separate lodgements made by Ms O’Shea to the AIB Bank account between October 2009 and March 2010 and 22 lodgements to the Bank of Ireland account between March 2012 and August 2012 with the monies totalling €2,002.

Cross-examined by Mr O'Flynn's counsel, Tom Power SC, Det Garda Horgan said that he believed the case revolved around the belief by both complainants that they were paying monies into accounts nominated by Mr O'Flynn to pass on to their lenders.

“I believe the kernel of the inquiry is that Mr O’Flynn’s clients believed they were paying monies to Mr O’Flynn and that it was then being paid to their creditors,” said Det Garda Horgan, adding that Mr O’Flynn never mentioned to him that the monies paid were fees.

The trial earlier heard from Mr Higgins when he denied under cross-examination that he had ever discussed the issue of fees with Mr O'Flynn after he approached him to help him restructure loan repayments to Bank of Scotland and Friends First after he fell into arrears.

And the trial also heard evidence from Ms O'Shea that she too never discussed the issue of fees with Mr O'Flynn after she approached him and the financial advice company Debt Assist where was a director to help her restructure loans with three different institutions.

“Gary O’Flynn was going to divide it between three debts that I had,” said Ms O’Shea adding that she never made any agreement with Mr O’Flynn to act as a solicitor for her and it was her understanding that the €2,000 she paid into the accounts was to be given to her creditors

The case resumes on Monday.

Barry Roche

Barry Roche

Barry Roche is Southern Correspondent of The Irish Times