“Easier to get through to Donald Trump” than to contact man supposed to be managing loan

Leitrim Observer reporter


Leitrim Observer reporter



“Easier to get through to Donald Trump” than to contact man supposed to be managing loan

The trail is taking place at Dublin Criminal Circuit Court

A dairy farmer has told the trial of a former psychic charged with money laundering that it “would be easier to get through to Donald Trump” than to contact the man he thought was managing his loan.

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.

The trial has heard that Mr Gold accepted he had used the names Simon Gold, Simon Gould, Simon Magnier and Niall O'Donoghue. The trial has also heard Mr Gold acknowledged he is responsible for an Ulster Bank account in the name of Anglo Irish Global Ltd.

On the ninth day of evidence before the jury, Eamonn O'Toole told Lorcan Staines SC, prosecuting, that he was a dairy farmer in Co Tipperary and that he was seeking a loan in 2011 to prepare for the abolition of milk quotas.

Mr O'Toole said his friend Jody Ryan gave him the phone number of Simon Magnier and told him Mr Magnier was willing to invest in projects. He said Mr Magnier sounded a little bit posh and “it wasn't your flat Tipperary accent”.

He said that he wanted a loan of €250,000, but Mr Magnier said he did not do loans of that size and offered a loan of €1 million instead. He said he thought that Anglo Irish Global Ltd was a bank lending to farmers and that Mr Magnier was the principal banker.

Mr O'Toole said he was required to transfer £10,000 to Anglo Irish Global Ltd and he did so. He said he understood that a man named Niall O'Donoghue was the person who would manage his loan.

He said he never spoke to Mr O'Donoghue and that it “would be easier to get through to Donald Trump”. He said when he tried to contact him or Mr Magnier after transferring the money a receptionist would tell him that she would transfer his call and then the line would go dead.

Mr O'Toole said the loan never came through. Regarding the £10,000, he said if he had given it to St Vincent de Paul he would feel happy about it and the whole situation had been an education where he went from “infants to six class” in a short time

He told Dominic McGinn SC, defending, that he was advised by Mr Magnier to put a younger man's name on documents when applying for the loan. He said he put on the document the name of a teenager who worked slurry on the farm at the time.

Mr O'Toole said that the teenager did know about this and that the teenager told him that the loan would probably never come through. “Hindsight is a very exact science,” said Mr O'Toole.

The trial continues today before Judge Nolan and a jury.