Former Irish hockey star's elaborate scam exposed after multiple victims come forward
"It is very hard to think there is people out there that could do something like that to someone that’s in financial distress."
An Irish businesswoman and former hockey star who scammed victims out of thousands of euro is the subject of an RTÉ Investigates programme on Monday (14 February).
The documentary, RTE Investigates - The Accountant, The Con, The Lies uses secret recordings of meetings and phone calls to expose Catriona Carey and the details of her scheme.
Carey told victims that her company, Careysfort Asset Estates, would buy their debt from a lender at a discount and then sell back the debt at a lower price.
However, to avail of the deal, victims would be required to pay a deposit, usually 10%-30% of the original debt, to be paid in cash or to an account in Belgium or Germany.
Colin Finnegan, one victim of Carey's scheme, nearly lost his grandfather's home due to the scam.
"It was my grandfather’s home, it is in the family a hundred years," Finnegan said.
"You don’t like to lose your family home, especially to see your parents being put out on the road. That was a massive worry."
Catríona had told him that business was concluded with his mortgage company and that they were preparing the contracts for the final time.
This was not the case, and Colin's property appeared on BidX1, a property auction site includes distressed properties where the loans are in default. A neighbour had to buy the house to prevent it being sold to anyone else.
Victims were told that their deposits were refundable, but many have requested theirs and are yet to receive their money back.
"Just a dirty rotten thing for any human to do to another," said victim Sharon O'Riordan.
"I know there's lots of bad things happening out there. There's no need for this to happen.
"Please God, she won't get away with doing it to someone else who might not be able to handle the destruction that can follow."
All victims featured in the programme, along with 10 further people affected, have reported Carey to Gardaí.
"It is very hard to think there is people out there that could do something like that to someone that’s in financial distress," said another victim.
"I told her on numerous occasions how it was affecting me mentally, the stress and anxiety and she empathizes with me over the phone but behind it all she obviously doesn’t care."
RTÉ Investigates - The Accountant, The Con, The Lies, is set to air tonight (Monday) at 9.35pm on RTÉ One and RTÉ Player.