Crime cash hidden in cereal and veg packets

Thousands of euro that were the proceeds of crime were found hidden in homes belonging to members of the Heaphy family in Cork.

The cash was concealed in a packet of frozen vegetables, a Kellogg’s Corn Flakes box, the legs of a TV stand, and behind kickboards.

Yesterday, the main culprit was jailed for four years.

Jonathan Heaphy, aged 34, pleaded guilty to the greatest number of charges, out of the five family members accused. He was given a seven-year sentence, with the last three years suspended.

At Cork Circuit Criminal Court, Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin noted the evidence by Sergeant Clodagh O’Sullivan that Heaphy had control of over €90,000 — found in cash and post office savings books during the Garda investigation.

Sgt O’Sullivan said Heaphy had given various explanations for the cash, including gambling wins, a loan, and that it was the proceeds of a compensation claim. Heaphy had claimed he made over €10,000 from breeding dogs, but the Irish Kennel Club had no record of him.

Judge Ó Donnabháin said about the accounts: “They were 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.”

Jonathan Heaphy, of 131 St Coleman’s Rd, Farranree, Cork, pleaded guilty to a total of nine charges. He admitted having cash sums of €29,500, €2,200, €650, and €3,000 at his home, a post office account with a €10,500 balance, and a post office account in a juvenile’s name with a €10,010 balance at 131 St Coleman’s Rd. He also pleaded guilty to having €28,000 and €200 in cash and a post office account with just over €10,000.

His mother Helen, aged 52, and his siblings Nicole, aged 33; Jessica, aged 22; and Daniel, aged 21, got suspended jail sentence for various offences involving lesser amounts.

Helen, Jessica, and Daniel Heaphy were each given a two-year suspended jail sentence. Nicole Heaphy got a one-year suspended term because the judge said she had made truthful admissions.

The wording on all charges is similar, stating that the accused person engaged in concealing the source of funds, namely the particular amount of cash or the particular post office book with certain balance, knowing or being reckless as to whether it represented the proceeds of criminal conduct. The charges were all brought under section 7 of the Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) Act 2010.

Daniel Heaphy, of 59 Kerryhall Rd, pleaded guilty to having €10,000 in an An Post book located behind a kickboard at 131 St Coleman’s Rd.

Helen Heaphy, of 59 Kerryhall Rd, admitted having a post office book with about €6,000 in it.

Jessica Heaphy of 59 Kerryhall Rd, pleaded guilty to having €2,000 in cash and €4,000 in a post office book inside a cereal box at 11 Kerryhall Rd.

Nicole Heaphy, of 131 St Coleman’s Rd, admitted having a €2,000 post office book and cash of €28,000 and €200.

Sgt O’Sullivan said that, in the course of the search at 131 St Coleman’s Rd, members of the Garda Divisional Drugs Unit found €28,000 in cash hidden in a packet of frozen vegetables.

In the same house, they found €29,500 in cash concealed in the legs of the television stand. They also found €2,000 in a shirt pocket and €650 in a glass.

The judge noted that, apart from the more than €90,000 referred to in Jonathan Heaphy’s charges, there were other amounts of cash from others in the family that appeared to be directed towards him.

Judge Ó Donnabháin said, from Sgt O’Sullivan’s evidence, Jonathan Heaphy had no mortgage on his house and had paid for it in cash.

Marjorie Farrelly, defending, said Jonathan Heaphy was still dealing with the Criminal Assets Bureau over his financial affairs.


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