Luxury Kerry home seized by CAB after 5 year probe targeting crime gang in major home repairs scam | #scams | #elderlyscams
THE seizure of a luxury home in Killarney by the Criminal Assets Bureau is the culmination of an operation targeting more than 15 members of two families suspected of making €3.7m from their activities.
AB officers took possession of the palatial home in Ballycasheen in Killarney this week after the High Court heard its owner Patrick Coffey (36) was a member of an organised crime gang involved in home repair scams in Ireland and across Europe.
The High Court granted CAB an order to take possession of the home on Monday.
CAB believe the gang made a fortune from intimidating elderly people to hand over their savings for shoddy repairs to their home worth a fraction of the amount demanded.
They would initially quote small prices for minor repairs and then claim they found much bigger work needed to be done.
In many cases pensioners were told to hand over cash for work to which they had never agreed.
Gang members would also barge into houses terrorising occupants and telling them repairs needed to be done.
Coffey’s home was identified as part of Operation Tarmac which has been ongoing since 2017.
Gardai identified 21 targets in two families and assets targeted by CAB included designer watches, fast cars and the luxury home.
Two member of the gang were previously found guilty of stealing €11,000 from a 79-year-old Cork woman who was originally quoted €400 to repair a roof. A judge described the crime as “very mean”.
Another gang member was jailed for 18 months after pressuring an elderly couple to pay €15,000 for an attic conversion.
Another received the same sentence after the gang made an 81-year-old man hand over €14,000 for work worth just €1,000.
They terrified him into handing over the cash after driving him to the ATM themselves insisting he give them the money.
The gang operated counties across Ireland as well as several European countries including the Netherlands and the UK.
In a victim impact statement from the couple read out in court by their daughter they said: “As an elderly couple, we felt intimidated. Our house was overrun by men making lots of noise, but no sign of work done or materials arriving… The entire experience was traumatic.”
The house seized this week has expensive wrought iron security gates and a tarmac driveway while inside it has high-end marble, wood and plasterwork as well as a mosaic-tiled bathroom.
As part of the operation CAB have also seized nine high-end vehicles including a Mercedes, BMWs, and Audis.
Nine ladies designer watches, including a Dolce and Gabbana, a Cartier Roadster and seven Rolex models, as well as three men’s Rolex watches and Louis Vuitton bag were also seized as well as deposits totalling almost €178,000 in four bank and credit union accounts, over €135,000 in cash and a Louis Vuitton bag.
The house will be placed on the market but it is currently unclear what price tag will be put on it.
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