Ponzi link to Barbados
AN IRISHMAN SOCIALITE with an upscale villa in Barbados, Breifne O’Brien, has been accused of bilking investors in a Ponzi scheme.
Sometime this month, investigators should wrap up an extensive probe into one of the largest alleged Ponzi schemes in Ireland’s history, and when they do the Director of Public Prosecutions will have to decide if to bring a criminal case against O’Brien, who used to visit Barbados on a regular basis, staying in his villa with his wife and children.
Should a trial occur, what a judge and jury may hear is evidence about how the financial adviser and investor spent his partners’ funds (18 million euros or US$23.29 million), with charges that the money went to expensive properties, including the villa, a large home in an exclusive section of Dublin, cars, designer clothes for himself, wife and children, first-class airline travel and real estate in Dublin, Belize, Berlin, Spain, Boston, Paris and Britain.
According to documents in Ireland, O’Brien told associates and friends that the millions of euros they gave him to invest had disappeared in a scheme in which he used money from later investors to pay off people who had first given him their money, creating the illusion of hefty returns to gain their trust.
Read the full story in today’s DAILY NATION.