Senior Kinahan Cartel lieutenant Declan Brady has been jailed for seven years and three months for laundering cash from a criminal organisation while his wife and former "mistress" have received fully suspended sentences at the Special Criminal Court.
The trio appeared in court this morning, with Declan Brady in the dock as he is already serving a sentence for firearms offences. His wife Deirdre Brady hugged family members after receiving a three-year suspended sentence for her role in laundering €770,499.
Erika Lukacs, aged 37, of Lakelands, Naas, Co Kildare, also received a fully suspended three-year sentence for laundering €196,864.
The court previously heard that Brady and his wife laundered crime cash through transfers that included mortgage payments on a Spanish holiday property, a wedding at Druid's Glen, and transfers to other gang members. A bar tab and room bills for €27,000 from the wedding were paid for in cash, while both Brady and his wife declared no income to the Revenue over the period in question, the court also heard.
Mr Justice Tony Hunt said it would be disproportionate to jail the women as, he said, they did not participate in the underlying criminality that was the source of the cash. Were it not for their association with Declan Brady they would not have found themselves before the court, he said, and they had previously unblemished records.
Mr Justice Hunt gave Declan Brady, known as Mr Nobody, of The Park, Wolstan Abbey, Celbridge, Co Kildare a sentence of eight years and three months with the final year suspended. On April 23 last, Brady pleaded guilty to concealing cash to the value of €268,940 in the attic of The Dairy, Rathasker Road, Naas, Co Kildare, on January 24, 2017. He is already serving 11-and-a-half years in prison after he admitted supervising a firearms arsenal including an assault rifle and thousands of rounds of ammunition that had been stashed in a Dublin business park.
Mr Justice Hunt said it is reasonable to infer that Declan Brady's offences were part of a "broader pattern of activity in support of a criminal gang."
He said Brady had provided a "high level of assistance on a number of fronts over a period of time" and was "trusted" by the criminal organisation. He had enjoyed material benefits from his involvement, the judge said, adding that these are all significant aggravating factors. He had also caused his wife and partner to become involved where their previous good character showed no indication they would otherwise have committed any offences.
He said Declan Brady's offending merited a pre-mitigation sentence of 11 years but having taken into account his early guilty plea and his cooperation with gardaí, the judge reduced that to eight years and three months. He suspended the final year to incentivize his rehabilitation. The sentence will run from 23 April 2021 when Brady first entered his plea of guilty. It means that he will not leave prison when he completes his sentence for the firearms offences.
Turning to Deirdre Brady, Mr Justice Hunt said the total sum going through her accounts was more than e770,000, a "very significant amount of money". He said the court had a custodial sentence in mind but considered that she has no previous convictions and unlike her husband, she was not involved in the activities of a criminal gang. He added; "But it must have been obvious to her there was a disconnect between the legitimate activities of her husband and the sums of money going through the accounts."
She was under instruction from her husband, the judge said, and appears before the court as a person of otherwise blameless character with three children and seven grandchildren. She had a "reckless approach to these matters," he said but having considered the mitigating factors the court decided against a custodial sentence. "It's a very close-run thing from her point of view," he added.
Mrs Brady entered a bond of €100 to be of good behaviour for three years or risk serving the three-year sentence.
Ms Lukacs had similarly no involvement in the criminal gang or criminal activity, the judge said, but she "must have suspected a disconnect between his [Declan Brady's] apparent legitimate activities and these sums of money." He said the court also considered a custodial sentence for Ms Lukacs but taking into account her guilty plea, previous good record and that she is the carer of a young child, he said a prison term would be "harsh and disproportionate" on the mother and child.
Ms Lukacs entered a similar bond to her co-accused.
On April 13 Deirdre Brady pleaded guilty to concealing or disguising the true nature or source of money credited to a Permanent TSB Account on various dates between January 1, 2014 and December 31, 2014, within the State, knowing or believing or being reckless as to whether the property, in the names of Declan Brady and Deirdre Brady, was the proceeds of criminal conduct.
Lukacs, with an address at Lakelands, Naas, Co Kildare, admitted to concealing or disguising the true nature or source of money credited to an Allied Irish Bank account on various dates between January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2012, within the State, knowing or believing or being reckless as to whether the property, in the name of Erika Lukacs, was the proceeds of criminal conduct.
At a later hearing Brady pleaded guilty to 17 more money laundering offences and Lukacs pleaded guilty to five more money laundering offences.