15 May 2014
The Director of Corporate Enforcement does not have the entitlement to prosecute company law offences on indictment. Therefore, on completion of an investigation by the ODCE into the commission of suspected offence(s) under the Companies Acts, an investigation file compiled by the ODCE is submitted to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions. In the event of the Director of Public Prosecutions deciding to prosecute the suspected offence(s), such prosecutions are initiated by the Director of Public Prosecutions and not the Director of Corporate Enforcement. On foot of an Investigation carried out by the Director of Corporate Enforcement and the submission of a number of Investigation Files to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, the following prosecution arose.
Details of Defendant:
54 Burrin Street, Carlow, Co. Carlow.
Carlow Circuit Court
Fifty alleged offences against the defendant were before the court arising from him having acted as auditor to thirteen companies and his having produced false audit reports relating to 11 of the companies.
24 of the fifty charges against the defendant related to his having acted as an auditor when disqualified from so doing contrary to section 187(6) and (9) of the Companies Act 1990. The remaining 26 charges against the defendant related to his having produced false audit reports contrary to section 242(1) of the Companies Act 1990 by varyingly using and forging the signature of two qualified auditors; using the name and forging the signature of an accountant who he falsely held out to be a qualified auditor; using a made up name as a purported auditor; and using his own firm’s name, Forde & Co., in circumstances where he was not a qualified auditor.
On 1st May 2014 the defendant was arraigned and pleaded guilty to 13 counts on the Indictment on a full-facts basis as follows: 11 counts of producing false audit reports contrary to section 242(1) of the Companies Act 1990 and 2 counts of acting as an auditor when disqualified from so doing contrary to section 187(6) and (9) of the Companies Act 1990. The remaining 37 counts on the Indictment were to be taken into consideration.
On 15th May 2014 the defendant was sentenced as follows:
- on one count of producing a false audit report contrary to section 242(1) of the Companies Act 1990, on which he had entered a guilty plea, the defendant was convicted and fined €1,000;
- the other 12 counts on which he had entered a guilty plea, 10 counts of producing a false audit report contrary to section 242(1) of the Companies Act 1990 and 2 counts of acting as an auditor when disqualified from so doing contrary to section 187(6) and (9) of the Companies Act 1990, were taken into consideration; and
- the remaining 37 counts were taken into consideration without pleas having been entered.
Having been convicted on indictment of an indictable offence in relation to a company Ignatius Forde is deemed, pursuant to Section 160 (1) of the Companies Act 1990 to be the subject of a disqualification order, the effect of which is that he is disqualified from being appointed or acting as auditor, director or other officer, receiver, liquidator or examiner or being in any way, whether directly or indirectly, concerned or taking part in the promotion, formation or management of any company or society registered under the Industrial Provident Societies Acts 1893 to 1978 for a period of 5 years commencing from the date of his conviction on 1st May, 2014.
The Director of Public Prosecutions has appealed the Sentence imposed by Judge O’Sullivan to the Court of Criminal Appeal on the grounds of undue leniency.
See 2007 Case
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