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TAXMAN OWNS UP TO HIS PART IN HUGE FRAUD; Threats to family were lies, says top Garda.

A TAX inspector who was part of a pounds 3.8 million revenue fraud and whose front man died in jail admitted his part in the plot yesterday.

Brendan Murphy, 45, was charged with conspiring to defraud the Revenue Commissioners between January and June last year. He will be sentenced later.

His partner, Brendan O'Doherty, died in August last year while serving a four-year jail term for his part in the plot.

Detective Inspector Patrick Byrne of the Criminal Assets Bureau said Murphy was due to receive pounds 2 million from the scam.

Ennis Circuit Court heard last year how O'Doherty had stood to gain pounds 20,000 if the fraud had been successful.

Det Insp Byrne told the court he didn't believe Murphy's statement that he was under duress and had been threatened into taking part.

Murphy, he said, had claimed that one conspirator had told him horse riding was a dangerous sport for his daughter to be involved in.

But Insp Byrne rejected his claims and said that if threats were made they were made by Murphy himself.

Murphy, a father of five, was said to have cried after being arrested at his office in Limerick last June.

His arrest had followed that of O'Doherty in Ennis the previous day when he was due to collect the cheque which had been drawn up and issued by the Revenue Commissioners.

Gardai had been alerted to O'Doherty after Sam Gill, the Assistant Principal Officer of the Revenue Commission, had double-checked the forged VAT return.

After his arrest Murphy, of Parteen, Co Clare, said in a statement that as a taxman in charge of VAT repayments and collection for half of the country he had never accepted a bribe.

He said he had been introduced to O'Doherty at a house in Artane and been threatened over subsequent months to take part in the plot from which, he was told, he would get half the proceeds.

Yesterday, Judge Haugh granted the request of Murphy's lawyer that there should be an adjournment to allow medical and psychological assessments to be carried out on Murphy.
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Author:Pope, Philip
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Sep 29, 1998
Words:351
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