Man pleads guilty to falsifying Central Bank documentation

Eamonn Masterson faced 44 counts of deception between 2017 and 2019

A 50-year-old man with a Co Meath address who used false Central Bank of Ireland documents and deceived four companies into thinking they were genuine and charged them for his services entered a plea of guilty when the case came before Trim District Court.

Eamon Masterson, Seachnaill Place, Dunshaughlin was charged with 44 counts of deception between 2017 and 2019.

He was accused of producing a false document – a Central Bank of Ireland query document – with the intention that it be used to convince another person that it was genuine in breach of the Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud Offences) Act 2001 at premises at Tullamore, Co Offaly, Ratoath Co Meath and also in Counties Wicklow and Waterford. He was also charged with producing a false Garda vetting document.

Garda Maeve Barton told the court the defendant, who was an insurance broker, had become a compliance consultant to four firms to prepare documentation and evidence for the Central Bank. He had produced emails purporting to be from the Central Bank and used signatures of actual Central Bank employees. He sent the emails to the clients leading them to believe that he was progressing their applications to the bank. The companies had paid him fees ranging from €1,500 to €5,000. The firms paid the money to have their applications sent to the Central Bank and approved but this had not happened, she added.

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A defending solicitor told Judge Cormac Dunne that his client had co-operated with gardaí in interviews over two days. His client knew he had done wrong and he wanted to put things right. He said he had repaid fees to all the companies except one. In two cases he had paid compensation amounts of €11,000 and €16,000.

Judge Dunne imposed a fine of €750 on one charge of forging a signature on a document and €1,500 on a charge of producing a false Garda vetting document.

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