A father and daughter who forced scammer Patrick Maher to return a €9,000 boat and €2,500 in cash he stole from them in a mortgage scam have described him as “an absolute scumbag”.
Onman Patrick Maher, who had held the position of joint secretary at one of scammer Catriona Carey’s real estate firms since December 2019, took action against Paul Moorhouse, 70, and his daughter Danielle in 2018 when the family was embroiled in a dispute with a vulture fund.
Now, in their first interview, Paul and Danielle recount how Maher burst into their lives uninvited, posing as a former county sheriff who “knew all the guys in the Vulture Funds” and was able to give them their house back.
“One day he arrived at the yard in a BMW X5,” Paul said.
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“He was dressed like a pro. And you’d think he was in aftershave after a bath because it smelled so strong of him.”
Paul said Maher was briefed on the family’s dispute with the Vulture Fund.
Despite the family’s initial suspicions, both Paul and Danielle said Maher was calm enough that he managed to get over their concerns.
Paul continued, “I remember Danielle saying to him, ‘I hope you’re not here to screw us.’ And he (Maher) pulled up his sleeve and said, “Look at this watch … that’s 30 or 40 grand right there. Why would I want to cheat on anyone?
Paul and Danielle said Maher offered them hope when they were most desperate – and somewhat reluctantly they accepted his offer.
“When he came in and sounded like he knew what he was talking about, we were happy … happy that something could happen,” Danielle said.
“It was the first time in a long time that we were offered light at the end of the tunnel.”
When asked when Maher started talking about money and how much his help would cost the Moorhouses, Paul replied, “Right away. It was instant. He said there would be paperwork and he would need to receive an advance payment for administration.
“He said he was looking for as much as we could give him but he would settle for €2,500 that day. I was a bit skeptical about that, but after we talked about it, I wasn’t against it.
“We were really stupid not to question it … but he was a very smooth speaker and he was persuasive. He is so good that if he had been real he would have been a brilliant seller.”
When asked how Maher convinced her he could get the deeds back to the house when the mortgage on it had already been sold to a vulture fund, Paul replied, “He said he knew all the guys involved and would buy the house back.” , if need be, and sell it back to us.
“It’s exactly what Catriona Carey has been accused of doing to people in prime time. The same… just on a much smaller scale.”
Still a bit suspicious, Danielle offered to meet Maher outside the AIB bank in Enniscorthy to hand over the €2,500, knowing the bank’s security cameras were monitoring the place.
Maher refused, instead insisting on meeting Danielle outside a local cemetery – which was not monitored by CCTV.
Days after Maher received the first cash payment, he returned to the Moorhouses, this time advising them to move out of their own home into the controversial estate.
“I told him my wife and I were too old to get insurance or any other mortgage, but he said not to worry, he would sort it out,” Paul said.
“And the next day he came with this blonde woman and left her in the car. He said she was a nurse and would certify us fit for the paperwork.
“I said no, but he kept coming back and talking more and more nonsense.
Paul said Maher didn’t pay back until four or five days after the initial payment, saying he needed more money for the nurse and for administrative fees.
“He told me he would take the boat instead of the money,” Paul recalls.
“I told him to do what he had to do with the money he was given first and that I wanted proof of how it was spent. But he said there was more work to be done, which would cost a few more Bobs to sort through. He didn’t name an amount…just said he’d take the boat.
“I never agreed to that.”
Despite Paul’s lack of consent, Maher returned to the Moorhouses’ shipyard the next day and took the boat, a Bayline Cruiser later valued in court at €9,000. “I was here that day,” Danielle said.
“I didn’t stop him because I wasn’t sure if dad would approve.”
Months later, Danielle called Maher and asked him what was happening to the property.
“I would call him and see if there was any news. But all I got was he was in a meeting and couldn’t speak,” she said.
‘And then I called later and he didn’t answer. I called him at night and he sounded drunk. And that went on for about two years – until we came to court.”
Two months after Maher took the boat, Danielle and her father went to the Gardaí.
“There was a security guard named Ray Moore in Enniscorthy and he did everything he could for us,” Paul said.
“And Ray followed with a hammer and tongs. And Martin Brauders, the detective, was called in too and they tracked down the boat and got it back for us.”
In December 2020, Maher was sentenced to a two-year suspended sentence for offenses related to the fraud at the Moorhouses.
“He had to pay back the money he took from us,” Paul said.
“I think he was advised that it was that or go to jail.”
Commenting on the court’s decision not to send Maher to prison, Danielle said, “I wasn’t happy about that.
“I was relieved that he was found guilty, but I wasn’t happy about that.
“He deserves to go to jail.
“He devastated my mother, father and me.
“At the time it was the worst thing that’s ever happened to us … he wreaked havoc here because we all blamed each other.”
Paul continues: “Basically, I think we felt stupid. I’m not a stupid man, but he tricked me.
“He’s a ball of slime. “That’s how I would characterize him… he’s totally slimy.
“Anyone who plays with people’s misery like he does is just no good,” he adds.
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/crime/he-deserves-to-go-to-jail-family-conned-by-catriona-careys-ex-business-partner-in-elaborate-mortgage-scam-speak-out-41848625.html Patrick Maher: ‘He deserved to go to jail’ – the family who were tricked into an elaborate mortgage scam by Catriona Carey’s ex-business partner speaks out