By Tom Tuite
A psychic turned financier is facing trial accused of fraud and money-laundering offences.
Trial on indictment is on the cards for astrologer and tarot reader, Simon Gold, 53, with an address at Cartontroy, Athlone, Co. Westmeath.
Mr Gold is best known for his firm Astrology Ireland and has billed himself as “Ireland’s Leading 7th Generation Psychic Astrologer & Tarot Master”.
Mr Gold was refused bail after he appeared at Dublin District Court.
He was charged with money laundering by allegedly possessing €800,000 in proceeds of criminal conduct at a bank in Dublin on Oct. 19, 2012.
He was also charged with deception, that between Feb. 18 and March 9, 2011, he induced a named man to transfer €28,000 to an account of a named financial consultancy firm.
He has three other counts of deception with charges that on other dates in 2011 he induced three other people to transfer stg£30,000, stg£10,000 and another sum of stg£10,000 to the account of the same financial consultancy firm.
The businessman was also charged with having false instruments: one blank bank draft and six other bank drafts with various sums, totalling €55m, payable to three individuals and a named financial advice business. He is charged that he had these drafts in his custody in Delvin, Co. Westmeath on Oct. 22, 2012.
He also had another charge of having another false instrument on a date in 2014 at a location in Co. Leitrim: four sheets allegedly containing 360 removable holograms purporting to be AIB holograms.
He was accompanied to court by his solicitor Brian Keenan and applied for bail, however, the application was met by a Garda objection which cited the seriousness of the case.
The 53-year-old has not yet entered a plea to the charges and the Director of Public Prosecutions has directed that he is to face trial on indictment. This means his case will be sent forward to the Circuit Court, which has tougher sentencing powers, once the prosecution has completed preparing a book of evidence.
Judge Miriam Walsh refused bail and remanded him in custody.
Mr Gold, also known as Niall O'Donoghue, will face his next hearing at Cloverhill District Court on May 31, 2018. A decision on whether legal aid will be granted to him has been deferred.