Catriona Carey was once described by a business associate in a newspaper interview as “a smart woman,” “a fighter” and someone you wouldn’t want to go to war with, “because if she puts her mind to something, she gets it it usually it”.
Years later, Carey now faces the biggest fight of her life. Gardaí are intensifying their investigation into multiple fraud allegations relating to their Careysfort Asset Estates business, receivers have been appointed to one of two properties she owns, her network of business contacts is washing her hands and she faces court next month over alleged traffic offences.
Kilkenny locals knew she had a taste for the finer things in life, with her designer clothes, beautiful cars and expensive jewelry, but when Gardaí grabbed her BMW 2020 outside a house in Wexford last week, she looked far from the glamorous ice hockey player who played 72 international matches for her country.
She’s made a name for herself as a respected sports star, but her legacy will now be marked by debt and destruction.
When she decided in 2019 to start a business that would overwhelm people at the banks, she claimed to have millions at her disposal and a proven track record of paying off debt for people in financial trouble. Now it turns out she was just as troubled as the people she claimed to be protecting.
Legal documents uploaded to auction site BidX1 this week show how receivers were appointed on April 3, 2014 for a house she owns in The Grove, Kilkenny. The four bedroom house, a stone’s throw from their family home, is now available for sale with a guide price of €365,000. It will be auctioned off to the public at the end of the month.
According to the Property Registration Authority, in 2013 a fuel company called MK Fuels Ltd obtained a judgment in the High Court over their properties for an undisclosed amount. The debt concerned their former company, Lindor Service Station on Cork Road in Waterford, which has since been wound up.
With Revenue and AIB on the list of creditors, dozens of people who deposited between €5,000 and €60,000 in cash on a mortgage deal that never materialized have little hope of getting their money back.
Catriona Carey received up to €500,000 in deposits from people struggling to make mortgage repayments and spent it on a new car, vacations, clothes and other personal items.
She is an accountant by trade, but in recent years she has acted as both a mortgage advisor and a landlord, earning at least €20,000 a year in rent.
The house now for sale was rented for €9,600 per year while the Irish Independent has learned she has been renting out another house in Co Carlow to a couple for €850 a month since January 2020.
The property belongs to a relative, but the lease is in her name.
She provided tenants with a written lease, which is more than she has given to the many people who have paid her thousands of pounds through her Friendly Vault Fund mortgage program to help them stay in their homes.
At least 30 people have contacted Gardaí to raise grievances, but there are still others who have come forward.
A number of people from across the country referred clients to the Kilkenny woman, including accountants, lawyers and those with their own history of financial struggles.
Some have distanced themselves from her, while others continue to help her as she copes with the aftermath RTÉ determined Documentary.
A senior source said the investigation into Careysfort Asset Estates’ dealings will likely extend beyond Catriona Carey. While the investigation continues, those affected continue to fight to save their homes.
Carey claimed she could help people with negative equity by buying their debt from their lenders at a discount and offering them a new loan from Careysfort that allowed them to stay in their homes.
She wanted a down payment up front and asked clients for 10 to 30 percent of the proposed new loan.
However, many of the deals never materialized and customers did not get their deposits back.
The saga has taken a significant toll on the health and well-being of those involved. the Irish Independent spoke to a man in his 70s who is currently battling prostate cancer.
He was introduced to Catriona Carey by a third party after he told them how his ex-wife defaulted on the mortgage payments on their two-bedroom apartment.
“I was told about this great deal where they would buy the debt and make a new loan,” he said.
“My ex-wife and I still get along really well and we thought it might be a good way to get our son up the property ladder.
“We only needed $30,000 for a bail my son borrowed from the credit union.
“This woman (Catriona Carey) was so compelling. I don’t believe how stupid I was.
“Every time I called her or texted her, she said, ‘Hi, how are you, love? We’re terminating this contract. You will get it in a few days.’ She was so convincing. She seemed so nice.”
One day, while holidaying in the Ring of Kerry, he received a call from Andrew Hickey, a Co Carlow firefighter, who posted £15,000 bail for Catriona Carey.
“When he told me what was going on, I felt sick. I almost had a heart attack. Everything he told me about what happened to him was right up my alley,” he said.
“I ended my mortgage four months ago. I am just absolutely sick that my son is in this heartbreaking situation right now. We try to help him by giving him €800 a month for the loan.
“Sometimes I want to stick my head through a concrete wall and wish I was dead after what happened.”
The man, who wishes to remain anonymous, filed a complaint with the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau (GNECB), which is leading the investigation into Carey.
It has conducted interviews with a number of people who claim to have been scammed, confiscated documents from her family’s home in Kilkenny and last week confiscated a BMW she bought for €55,000 using funds from the Careysfort account.
Our photos exclusively showed Carey staying at a house near Courtown in Co Wexford.
When asked for comment inside the home, a woman told the reporter to leave the property.
Carey did not come to the door and was later seen leaving the house in another vehicle with suitcases.
The move to take her car and paperwork is seen as an escalation of the investigation, but she has not yet been produced for questioning.
While some were surprised by the allegations, others believed it was only a matter of time.
In conversation with the Sunday independentearlier, former The Dragon’s Lair Star Sarah Newman revealed how she made a statement to Gardaí about Catriona Carey 10 years ago – over concerns she had about the collapse of a business she ran with her then-partner, Kilkenny hurling legend DJ Carey.
Garda sent a file to the DPP ordering there would be no prosecution.
DJ Carey also complained about his sister in 2011 after the funds of up to one million euros could not be booked in the company where Catriona was director.
Still, Ms Newman was “completely devastated” by the latest allegations.
“The fact that this all backfired must have had an absolutely devastating effect on their sanity, well-being and belief in humanity as they believed in the goodness of another human being who said they could get them out of trouble.” help.
“And so for all of these emotional struggles, the things that they had to deal with that must have compounded their stress and trauma, I was really heartbroken for them.”
Catriona Carey had her mind set on taking thousands of euros from people in need of money and she got it, but there was nothing “smart” about it.
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/catriona-carey-was-so-convincing-sometimes-i-feel-like-putting-my-head-through-a-concrete-wall-and-wish-that-i-was-dead-41464291.html “Catriona Carey was so convincing – sometimes I want to stick my head through a concrete wall and wish I was dead.”