An accountant and his brother have been charged with theft and money laundering after nearly 1.2 million euros in fictitious expenses were ‘hijacked’ from a financial services company in Dublin.
ipul Dhoot (35) with an address in Hallwell Place, Lucan, Co Dublin has been charged with 10 counts of theft of various sums totaling € 293,803 on dates last year, from a city center business where he held a managerial position.
His younger brother Rajeesh Dhoot (29), of St Patrick’s Court, Clanbrassil Street, Dublin, has been charged with six counts of possession of € 46,000 in proceeds of crime.
They were arrested following an investigation by the Garda National Bureau of Economic Crime.
The couple, originally from India but living and working in Ireland for several years, appeared today before Judge Brian O’Shea of the Dublin District Court.
Detective Garda Ronan Farrelly told the court that Vipul Dhoot did not respond after being charged.
He opposed the release on bail citing the gravity of the case and the risk of absconding. Charges in court were a sample and full investigation into the theft of just under € 1.2 million from January 2019 to November last year, he told Judge O ‘Shea.
It was alleged that Vipul Dhoot claimed fictitious expenses payable from a service provider which was legitimately used by his accounting firm.
He agreed that the case against Vipul Dhoot was that the money had been embezzled and transferred mainly to a bank account in India and to an account of his co-defendants, as well as two other people who are not currently in court.
The investigation resulted in a search of the accountant’s home and the recovery of documents and computer data, the contested bail application said. Forensic accountants had also been used in the case, the court said.
The detective said earlier this year that Vipul Dhoot handed over his passport to the guard in charge of the investigation.
However, he alleged that the accused then attempted to apply for a new one and went to his local station claiming that he lost his passport. He disagreed with defense attorney Brian Coveney that it was a driver’s license.
When questioned by the defense, he admitted that the father of a married child had no history of an arrest warrant and had lived in Ireland for seven years.
Pleading for bail, Mr Coveney said his client would not go on trial until late 2023 or possibly the following year. Denial of bail could mean a long period of pre-trial detention. It was a very complex investigation and his client was presumed innocent, he argued.
Vipul Dhoot had ties to that jurisdiction and a permanent address in the state, he told the court. The lawyer also said his client made no effort to flee after his home was searched in January.
Judge O’Shea refused to grant him bail and placed the accountant in pre-trial detention pending preparation of a compendium of evidence.
He will face his next hearing in Cloverhill District Court on Friday.
Judge O’Shea said it looks like more charges will be laid against him.
Detective Garda Laura Barton told the court that co-accused Rajeesh Dhoot replied “I will speak to my lawyer first” after being charged with six counts of money laundering.
It was 46,000 € out of a total of 70,000 € that would have been transferred to him, noted the judge.
There were no objections to his release on bail, but he was ordered to respect the conditions: surrender his passport, not leave the state, provide gardaí with a contact phone number and register daily in a garda station.
He was told he had to appear again in district court in September to be served with a book of evidence. His lawyer James MacGuill must provide a statement of his means for a request for legal aid.
Justice O’Shea has denied jurisdiction, meaning the couple, subject to the consent of the Director of Public Prosecutions, will face a trial in circuit court. Neither indicated a plea.