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Deputy Michael McNamara

McNamara chases ‘white collar’ crime

The new Corporate Crime Bill, drafted by Clare TD, Michael McNamara, will ensure more individuals convicted of ‘white collar crime’ will serve a prison sentence.

The Office of Fiscal Prosecution Act 2015 is proposing the establishment of an Office of Fiscal Prosecution, overseen by a Director of Fiscal Prosecution, to investigate and prosecute corporate offences, which cost Irish citizens hundreds of millions of euro every year.

Deputy McNamara believes many of these crimes are currently going unpunished.

“In 2012, 76,405 theft and related offences were recorded in Ireland, meanwhile just 5,792 cases of fraud and deception were recorded by gardaí. I believe there is a lack of capability to bring culprits of corporate crime and fraud before the criminal courts.

“The current level of criminal penalties imposed, particularly fines, does not act as a deterrent against banking offences, corruption, fraud or other so called ‘white collar offences’. Likewise the resources usually available to those charged with these crimes are so vast it can tie a case up in legal argument indefinitely. The resulting cost of such procedures therefore far outweighs the penalty imposed.

“I am aware of a number of cases in Clare and Limerick, especially in areas of construction, where ordinary people and tradesmen have been stung, with no realistic remedy. I believe this Bill would also address this issue.”

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