There are fears that any chance of getting money back from convicted fraudster Patrick Russell will vanish as he battles a serious illness in hospital.
his week, the expelled lawyer is on temporary release from prison despite a sentence of only three years last November for having stolen â¬ 235,000 from a businessman as part of a false purchase of property.
Russell, who had been held at Loughan House and then at Castlerea Prison, is believed to be gravely ill in hospital and suffering from a serious health problem, Sunday World sources say.
While the $ 235,000 he stole was successfully frozen before he could take it, there is a long list of other victims Russell is known to have scammed.
It is estimated that he scammed 8 million euros from dozens of people over three decades of deception, forgery and lies.
The man from Finglas, who first qualified as a financial adviser later became a lawyer, was a financial adviser to “black widow” Catherine Nevin and was a witness in her trial for the murder of her husband Tom.
Although his scams were highlighted in court proceedings and Sunday World articles, he was never convicted of a criminal offense until last year.
Russell, struck off the bar for professional misconduct in 2012, had set up as a financial advisor and was hired in 2015 to complete a real estate transaction.
A businessman who believed he had bought an industrial unit from Clane for â¬ 235,000 had indeed been handed over allegedly falsified documents from the Property Registration Authority.
A law firm involved in the transaction became suspicious and alerted GardaÃ. Russell denied committing an offense during interviews with Garda, but then pleaded guilty when the case went to court.
The Sunday World previously explained how, when acting as a tax advisor, he took money from his clients and provided fake tax receipts.
In 2011, musicians Foster and Allen found themselves broke after their relationship with Russell.
The musicians told a court that they each paid Russell â¬ 50,000 to settle their tax obligations and that he provided them with a letter from the tax authorities saying their affairs were in order. However, the money was never received and the court concluded that the letters were forged.
The couple were then ordered to pay 4 million euros each in income tax and penalties. Russell was struck off the role of lawyers in 2012 and moved to the UK for several years.
RTÃ Investigates recently showed that on his return to Ireland, Russell began offering loans to people in financial difficulty.
According to the RTÃ report, he took more than â¬ 300,000 in advances on 22 people and his non-existent business had no money to lend.
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