NI man wanted by US law enforcement is a senior official in alleged £ 6million global fraud, court said
A Co Antrim-based businessman is a suspected senior official of an alleged global $ 6 million fraud, a court said on Friday.
Homas Andrew Kenny is wanted by US authorities for claiming he was at the center of a sophisticated investment scam with links to countries in Europe and Asia.
The 33-year-old, with an address at Baileys Gate in Ballymena, was arrested in Belfast on Thursday by police acting on an extradition warrant.
Kenny appeared in the town’s Laganside courts where a judge was told he faced potential charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to launder money and theft of money. identity aggravated.
The alleged offenses were committed over a six-year period between 2015 and March 2021.
Lawyer Stephen Ritchie, for the United States, claimed that Kenny acted as office manager in what is known as a boiler room program – where high pressure tactics are used to persuade investors to buy false actions.
The alleged fraud involved victims transferring money from US bank accounts by wire, telephone and the Internet.
“The boiler rooms were located in several countries – Cyprus, Spain, Romania and Cambodia,” said Ritchie.
It was claimed that Kenny used the identities of other people to make the scheme appear legitimate.
“He and others posed as investment brokers and used high-pressure selling techniques and multimedia to trick victims into buying non-existent securities,” the lawyer said.
“The figure mentioned exceeds six million US dollars.
Fraudsters posing as legitimate financial companies created fake websites and email addresses as part of the scam, it has been claimed.
According to Mr. Ritchie, fake news articles were published and online advertisements were placed.
“It shows the sophistication and organization of this crime, it is not an isolated case,” he said.
“This gentleman was a senior official, allegedly, he was a boiler room manager helping to track and distribute the proceeds of the fraud.”
Kenny was arrested after police stopped his Audi car on Clifton Street in Belfast.
Officers who visited his home in Ballymena earlier today were told he had left at high speed, the court heard.
Mr Ritchie said the wanted man had two passports, three cell phones and 14 bank cards with him when he was detained.
Opposing the bail, the lawyer submitted, “The suspicion is that he was running away.”
Defense attorney Sean Devine has confirmed that Kenny does not consent to the extradition.
Mr Devine told the court that his client was a director of three different companies in Northern Ireland, employing a number of people in those companies.
Pointing out that Kenny has no criminal record, the lawyer also argued that Kenny’s arrest was a disproportionate measure.
“Are we dealing with Pablo Escobar here, or a reasonably mature man who occupies a position of responsibility in this community?” ” He asked.
“He has never had any problems before, and the livelihoods of many people depend on him.”
His Honor Judge Devlin granted bail after acknowledging the scale of the alleged crimes.
“It’s not just an international dimension, but a global dimension,” he said.
He ruled Kenny could be released under strict conditions, including a £ 40,000 cash bond, a curfew, electronic surveillance and a ban on leaving Northern Ireland.
However, the businessman remains in detention pending an appeal against the judge’s decision.
Kenny’s lawyer later confirmed that the appeal to keep him in custody was withdrawn.
Michael Madden said: “Mr. Kenny’s bail stands and he should be released immediately.”