Conflicting date over politician’s loan deal

A loan agreement, dated Aug 2006 and signed by a former councillor accused of accepting corrupt payments and a developer, was not created until Jan 2007, according to gardaí.

The fourth day of the trial of Fred Forsey Jr, aged 43, of Coolagh Road, Abbeyside, Dungarvan, Co Waterford, heard that gardaí visited a Dublin law firm in 2009 and found documents created on Jan 9, 2007.

Mr Forsey denies receiving €60,000, €10,000, and €10,000 in three corrupt payments from a developer in 2006, alleged to have been made to him for his support for a land rezoning.

The two documents found on a computer mainframe in the solicitors’ office were identical, Detective Garda Shay Keevans told Waterford Circuit Court, apart from having different spellings of Mr Forsey’s name — Forcey on one and Forcy on the other. “The document was not created until Jan 9, 2007.”

It was the same loan agreement handed to Supt Tom O’Grady during the investigation by the property developer alleged to have given Mr Forsey the corrupt payments, but without the dates and signatures which were handwritten on the document given to the superintendent. That document was signed by both men and dated Aug 20, 2006, the court heard.

The first payment made to Mr Forsey, of €60,000, was on Aug 25 of 2006, while the others were made the following Oct and Dec.

A third document found was created on June 10, 2008, and was a scan of the signed loan agreement.

John Phelan SC, defending, suggested the documents may have been downloaded to the computer from a memory stick, having been originally created on an earlier date.

An email sent to the developer’s secretary on Jan 9, 2007 — the same date the loan documents are alleged to have been created on the computer — mentioned a “draft loan agreement” which was “relating to the Fred Forsey matter”.

The email’s author asked “do I have his surname correct?” and asked if they needed bank account numbers for repayment.

Det Keevans told the court he obtained a printout of the mobile phone records of both Mr Forsey and the developer.

On the date of the last payment to Mr Forsey, Dec 22, Mr Forsey rang the developer’s number 48 times and sent one text message, before the developer returned the call at 4.44pm.

That date was also the date on which Mr Forsey’s wife, Jenny Forsey, from whom he was separated by then, allegedly threatened to go to the gardaí about his dealings with the developer if he did not pay her back €10,000 which she had loaned him.

The court heard Mr Forsey told gardaí that, when he went to the developer in Dec 2006 asking for a third payment, he told the developer his house was on the market, the proceeds would be divided 50:50 between his wife and himself, and he would use this money to repay the loan.

Asked in 2009 if the house was on the market, Mr Forsey answered: “No. I just told him that. I lied to him.”

The trial continues.


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