« BackKerry men testify at pyramid scheme trial

Two Kerry men have told a trial that a man accused of setting up a “pyramid scheme” told them they would double their investments in two months.

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45-year-old Eamon Shield of Weston Meadows, Weston Park, Lucan, Co Dublin has pleaded not guilty to 15 counts of theft and another 12 counts of making a gain by deception between June 2011 and February 2012.

The trial before Judge Patricia Ryan is expected to run for two weeks.

Eamon Shield is alleged to have stolen €178,000 from 12 people by telling them he could “flip” cars repossessed by the banks at a significant mark up; charges he denies.

Prosecuting Senior Counsel Shane Costelloe told a Dublin Circuit Criminal Court jury that this was a fabrication and there was no business.

Mr Costelloe said as further investors pumped money into the pyramid scheme the accused would fob off existing investors with small sums and tell them the money was coming.

Kerry man David O’Grady testified that he and a friend Malcolm Griffin met the accused outside a Limerick hotel by arrangement after responding to a newspaper advert.

He said Mr Shield told him he would get a 100% return on his investment within 60 days but agreed that the accused did not push or goad him into investing.

Both agreed to invest €3,000 each.

Mr O’Grady said that he did receive two payments of €200 and €500 but nothing else.

Mr Griffin said after a two month period in which he made multiple calls to the accused he then went to gardaí in Listowel to make a complaint.

The trial continues.