Embattled TD Mick Wallace could still face investigation by the corporate enforcement watchdog over his failure to declare €1.4m in Vat owed by his construction firm.
The Wexford TD is already facing the possibility of a motion of censure from Dáil colleagues next month for the under-declaration of tax.
The Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement has signalled that it may not pursue the case but that it could open up the investigation in the future.
In a reply to a query from Fine Gael Cork East TD Tom Barry, outgoing director Paul Appleby said: “At this time, I do not propose to commence an investigation of the affairs of M&J Wallace Ltd.”
Mr Appleby said the issue of Vat returns for companies was a matter for the Revenue Commissioners.
Mr Wallace has made a settlement with Revenue which will see him pay back €2.1m, which includes fines and penalties. He will also give up half of his Dáil salary to help pay off the bill, in response to outrage when the scandal emerged in June. He had previously said the firm “is very unlikely” to be able to pay its debts.
However, Mr Appleby, who finishes as director of corporate enforcement today, also told Mr Barry that the inquiry into Mr Wallace could be reopened by his office in the future.
“Clearly this investigation option will be reconsidered if I later receive evidence that breaches of law or duty may have occurred which are relevant to my remit and extend beyond those already dealt with by other relevant parties.”
The director’s office clarified the letter last night and said that all cases could be subject to renewed inquiry.
Mr Barry said he wanted to know why no authorities were pursuing cases against Mr Wallace. “It may be the case that the director of corporate enforcement’s office needs more funds. We’re wasting our time just censoring him in the Dáil, that won’t be effective.”
Mr Barry had originally written to the director of corporate enforcement seeking an investigation into Mr Wallace’s conduct as a company director.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved