Five years in prison for a financial advisor who defrauded clients over € 200,000

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A financial adviser who pleaded guilty to defrauding clients over € 200,000 but found himself without any wealth traps for his crimes has been jailed for five years.

Ork Circuit Criminal Court has learned that Mervyn Tanner (46) “was stealing from Peter to pay Paul” after setting up a business that mainly lent loans to people who would have difficulty getting loans elsewhere.

One of the victims in the case inherited the money following the death of a brother whom she planned to use to pay off her mortgage. However, Tanner persuaded her to invest it and she loses $ 120,000 and continues to pay off her mortgage.

Tanner of Buttery Court, Market Square, Mallow, Co Cork, pleaded guilty to several counts of fraud and forgery of documents. The time period refers to different dates from November 2010 to December 2015.

Detective James O’Reilly told Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin that the case involved five injured parties. Mr Tanner was arrested by appointment in December 2018 after an affected employee sounded the alarm after being personally affected by the accused’s fraudulent behavior.

The woman had inherited more than € 200,000 following her brother’s death in 2010. She had a mortgage with Mr Tanner and expressed interest in paying it off. He said it was unwise to pay the mortgage and urged the woman to make investments.

He told the woman that she would get “good feedback” from various policies. The injured party trusted him and had no reason to seek his advice.

in 2013, Tanner offered the woman a part-time job and she began to notice that “everything was not going well”. The woman realized that many of Mr. Tanner’s clients were losing money. She told him about the money she had invested with him and he promised to pay her back. She was paid small monthly amounts and still has a loss of over € 120,000.

In a victim impact statement, the woman said what Tanner did was a “betrayal of her brother’s memory.”

“Mr. Tanner took advantage of me. I was taken for a fool. I felt ashamed and depressed. I suffer every day. Everything was taken from me, ”she said.

“While he was in an unstable state and still in mourning for the death of my brother, he [Tanner] advised me to invest the money. The accused pleaded guilty to taking € 120,000 of my money. This amount of money would have meant so much to our family. It would have allowed us to pay for the house and feel some financial security.

“It is also a betrayal of my brother’s memory. He wanted his money to be good for me and my children. Our lives continue to be affected because this money would have done so much financially for me and my family. “

Detective Garda O’Reilly said Tanner produced fraudulent bank statements for some of his clients in an attempt to pretend everything was going well with the business. A man who invested in a plan that Tanner advised him to join lost over € 40,000, while a doctor lost over € 43,000. Another woman was losing 5,000 €.

Mr Tanner was arrested at the end of December 2018. He admitted to falsifying documents and said that many investments did not yield a return.

State attorney Ray Boland said the guilty plea in the case was of huge advantage given the complications that would no doubt have arisen in a long and difficult trial.

Defense attorney James O’Mahony said Tanner was a estranged father of three who at one point ran a company with up to 30 employees. He fought against the collapse of the Celtic Tiger and worked alone in Mallow after running a business in Cork City.

He said Tanner arranged loans for people who couldn’t get them otherwise and that some people he lent to didn’t pay back. He pointed out that his client was a man with no wealth.

“He leads a marginal life now. He only has his family home which is rented out. There is a great deal of negative equity in it. He has no assets of wealth. He didn’t go on an expensive vacation, driving to Porches with expensive jewelry. He was stealing from Peter to pay Paul, ”the lawyer said.

He got involved in arranging loans for people who would otherwise not be able to get loans and who were at high interest rates for short periods of time.

Garda O’Reilly agreed that Tanner had not amassed any wealth through his misdeeds.

Judge Ó Donnabháin said Tanner was in a position of trust and “was singularly negligent in his duty” to his clients.

He said the case was at the highest level of dishonesty and that a number of parties were wronged without the possibility of compensation.

Considering the value of the guilty plea, he jailed Tanner for seven years, suspending the last two years of his sentence.


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