Local conman has two years added to his sentence for €5.5m fraud
A convicted fraudster who was jailed for five years for a multi-million swindle has had two years added to his sentence following an appeal by prosecutors.
Garret Hevey (43) from Brookdene, Shankill was imprisoned last July after he was convicted of being involved in a €5.5m con which saw the same the same two forests in Co Roscommon sold “over and over again” to unsuspecting investors.
His co-accused, David Peile (42) from Wicklow Town, who was jailed for four years in July 2019, did not have his sentence increased.
The pair were found to have been involved in Arden Forestry Management (Arden FM) between January 2014 and mid-2016 during which 143 foreign investors were induced to deposit approximately €5.5m into the company’s accounts.
Hevey used the pseudonym James Baker to set-up Arden Forestry Management Limited in November 2013 to sell investment opportunities in the Irish forestry sector.
Gardaí began investigating the company when one of the investors discovered that Arden FML was not the registered owner of the land he had invested €52,000 in.
Hevey was sentenced to five years imprisonment with the final year suspended by Judge Melanie Greally on July 27, 2019 after pleading guilty to two sample charges but that sentence has now been found to be “unduly lenient” by the Court of Appeal.
Peile of Avondale Court, Ballyguile, who also pleaded guilty to the sample charges, was second in charge and occasionally used the name David Marshall, and was sentenced to four years imprisonment with the final year suspended.
PHOTO: David Peile from Ballyguile and Garret Hevey from Shankill