Six family members charged in fraud case

Four women and two men from one Cork city family were arrested yesterday, as part of a lengthy investigation, and charged with various counts under money-laundering legislation.

As well as six members of the Heaphy family another woman was also charged as part of the same case.

The charges relate to alleged offences of having cash sums varying from €200 to €29,500 in cash and having post office books with balances of up to around €10,000.

The Director of Public Prosecutions directed that the cases would proceed before judge and jury at Cork Circuit Criminal Court.

Judge Con O’Leary adjourned all cases until October 15 at Cork District Court, on the application of Inspector Mary King, for service of books of evidence. There was no objection to bail being granted to any of the seven accused. However, they were required to surrender passports and sign once a week at Gurranabraher garda station.

Solicitors, Frank Buttimer, Diane Hallahan and Donal Daly, were appointed to represent various of the accused on free legal aid. Judge O’Leary granted free legal aid and commented in each case: “On the statement of means I have no choice but to grant free legal aid notwithstanding the amount appearing on the charges.”

There was some commotion at one stage during the proceedings in court yesterday when one of the accused, Helen Heaphy, 51, of 59 Kerryhall Road, Cork, and other defendants complained that members of the media photographed them inside the small courtroom. Voices were raised and it was suggested that phones should be confiscated. However, it was clarified by two members of the media that they were checking that their phones were switched off. Members of the Heaphy family disputed this. The phones were not confiscated.

Yesterday’s arrests were part of an ongoing operation into money laundering by Gardai attached to the Divisional Fraud Investigation Unit at Anglesea St in Cork city, assisted by the Divisional Drug Unit and the Criminal Assets Bureau. It is alleged that seizures of cash and post office books were made in February and March 2014 in the course of searches at houses at 11 Kerryhall Rd, Fairhill, Cork City, and 131 St. Coleman’s Road, Cork.

The charges are all brought under Section 7 of the Criminal Justice (Money Laundering ant Terrorist Financing) Act 2010 and state that the accused engaged in concealing the source, location and ownership of property that is the proceeds of criminal conduct, to wit a sum of cash or a post office book with a particular balance, while being reckless as to whether the property was the proceeds of criminal conduct.

Detective Garda Alan McCarthy charged Jennifer Heaphy (nee Duggan), 34, of 11 Kerryhall Road, with having cash sums of €29,500, €2,200, €650 and €3,000 at her home and a post office account with a €10,500 balance and post office in a juvenile’s name with a €10,010 balance at 131 St. Coleman’s Road.

Her husband, Jonathan Heaphy, 34, was charged with the same six counts and further charges of having €28,000 and €200 in cash and a post office account with just over €10,000.

Detective Garda Andrew O’Connell charged Daniel Heaphy, 20, of 59 Kerryhall Road with having €10,000 at 131 St Coleman’s Road. He charged Helen Heaphy, 51, of 59 Kerryhall Road, with having a post office book with about €6,000 in it. He charged Jessica Heaphy, 20, of 59 Kerryhall Road, with having €3,000 in cash and €3,000 in a post office book at 11 Kerryhall Road.

Detective Sergeant Clodagh O’Sullivan charged Caroline Ring, 51, of 6 Clover Avenue, Ard Sionnach, Shanakiel, Cork, with having a €10,000 balance in a post office account.

Detective Garda Maura O’Riordan charged Nicole Heaphy of 131 St Coleman’s Road with having a €2,000 post office book and cash of €28,000 and €200.


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