Accountant accused of defrauding clients €30k

A CHARTERED accountant has been accused of defrauding company clients of €30,000 in order to pay his own tax bills.

Colm Watters, 46, of the firm Becker, Cresswell and Watters Ltd, is also accused of owing the Revenue Commissioners €70,000 in tax returns, the case in the Dublin District Court heard yesterday.

Watters, of 25 Greygates, Mount Merrion, Dublin, faces 20 charges.

The court heard clients gave him six cheques for €5,000 each. These were used to pay his own VAT. The accountant allegedly attempted to “defraud his clients out of money.”

Judge Anne Watkins said Watters is accused of essentially working as an accountant for somebody, taking their money and defrauding them.

His job was to advise companies about how to get their financial affairs in order by doing their tax returns for them, the court heard.

The accused was dealing with companies already in difficulty.

Judge Watkins said the allegations were “more serious” than just defrauding the Revenue Commissioners. Watters faced allegations of not just paying his own tax but of also defrauding a client out of their monies. It was also more serious as these clients had been facing their own difficulties, it was added.

Des Hickey, prosecuting, said Wattters was also accused of supplying incorrect information to Revenue alleging the cheques were his. Another eight charges related to incorrect P35 return forms filed for companies.

All the offences are alleged to have taken place between December 2000 and February 2004.

Watters’ bail bond was agreed at €500. The book of evidence was also served. Judge Watkins advised the accused that he had 14 days if he wished to submit an alibi. There was no application for legal aid and the case was sent forward for trial to the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

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