A former psychic charged with deception and money laundering offences involving approximately €1.7 million said he used alternative names in an effort to stop gardaí from tracking him down, a court has heard.
Simon Gold (54) with an address of Augharan, Aughavas, Co. Leitrim, has pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to 22 charges including money laundering, theft, deception and control of false instruments on dates between January 1, 2010 and October 22, 2012.
On the second day of evidence before the jury, the transcript of a garda interview with Mr Gold was read into evidence. During the interview Mr Gold accepted he had used the names Simon Gold, Simon Magnier and Niall O'Donoghue.
Mr Gold told gardaí he used to work as a psychic and that his stage name was Simon Gold. He said he changed his name legally to Simon Gold and that his original name was Niall O'Donoghue.
He agreed he also used the names Simon Gould and Stephen Gould, saying he used them in an effort “for you guys to not track me down” over the years. He said he did not exactly make it difficult and that he was “in plain sight”.
Mr Gold agreed in interview that on October 15, 2012, €800,000 was transferred into an Ulster Bank account in the name of Anglo Irish Global Ltd and on October 19, 2012, a further €800,000 was transferred into same account.
He told gardaí it was his understanding that the money was to be used for a renewable energy project in the Ivory Coast and that Anglo Irish Global Ltd would receive about 20% of whatever funds went through the account.
Mr Gold agreed that he had dispersed some of the funds into various accounts, saying he did so under instructions from others. He agreed he transferred money into an account in the name of Niall O'Donoghue, saying he felt justified in doing as per terms of the contract Anglo Irish Global Ltd was entitled to 20%.
He told gardaí that because he signed a contract he thought Anglo Irish Global Ltd would not be open to criminal prosecution. He said he does not believe that he performed a multi-million euro fraud.
Mr Gold agreed during interview that he used a false ESB bill to open the account in Ulster Bank for Anglo Irish Global Ltd. He also agreed in interview he used a false UK driving licence to purchase a computer from Harvey Norman.
Detective Sergeant Clodagh White told Lorcan Staines SC, prosecuting, that on October 22, 2012, she obtained a search warrant for the offices of Anglo Irish Global Ltd at Westside Centre, Main Street, Leixlip, Co Kildare.
Det Sgt White said she could not initially locate the office as she was looking for signage of Anglo Irish Global Ltd. She said she found signage for Westside Centre and the owner of an auctioneers named Mr Michael Mc Greevy operating at that address showed them to upstairs offices.
She said that the offices appeared to be vacant and that there was no one working there at the time. She said there was no documentation found or anything with Anglo Irish Global Ltd written on it.
Mr Michael Mc Greevy told Mr Staines that a man named Simon Gold, whom he described as being “plump” with dark hair, expressed interest in renting an upstairs office at the premises and he agreed to do so on foot of Mr Gold making a deposit and signing a lease.
Mr Mc Greevy said that there was never any activity of Anglo Irish Global Ltd at this office.
The trial continues before Judge Martin Nolan and a jury.