28 Sept 2022

Fake Midlands auctioneer repays victims


Laurence Murphy has repaid all of his victims charities to get some compensation

A man who posed as an agent for a leading auctioneering company and took money from victims in bogus land deals has paid back all the money he owed to his victims.

At today Monday January 31, sitting of Tullamore Circuit Court, Judge Keenan Johnson said the case of Laurence Murphy, Clonminch, Tullamore could be finalised. He said it had been hanging over Mr Murphy ‘’and rightly so’’ for a number of years, but he was satisfied that all the victims had now been compensated. Kevin White BL prosecuting said there was no order to be made.

Mr Murphy paid €140,000 to one victim, €105,000 to a second and €35,000 to a third.

In addition to the money he owed to the victims, he donated €20,000. However none of the victims said they wanted it, so Judge Keenan Johnson ordered the €20,000 be divided between the Irish Cancer Society, Tullamore Rape Crisis Centre, Offaly Domestic Violence Support Service, the Fusion and Acorn projects in Tullamore and Edenderry and Birr youth start up projects. 

Laurence Murphy, Clonminch, Tullamore, pleaded guilty in November 2018 to stealing money from a number of victims. He had posed as an agent for Savills and took money in bogus land deals. He had also pretended to sell a house. He produced Savills headed receipts and notepaper. 

In 2019 he was given a six and half year suspended sentence on condition he pay €105,000 compensation to one man and €35,000 to another, within 12 months. He failed to pay and the case was re-entered in 2021. 

During that period a number of proposals were put forward, one being a loan against his mother's home. 

The second proposal saw a planning application lodged to build a house on a site to the rear of the family home. Offaly county council sought further information which was not forthcoming and the application was closed. A fresh application was then lodged and planning permission was granted but was subsequently appealed to An Bord Pleanala who upheld the council’s decision. 

Another proposal which Mr Murphy said would raise enough funds to pay full compensation was from his shareholding in a company which he claimed if released would provide full compensation. 

At one stage Judge Keenan Johnson said he was ‘’sick, sore, and tired’’ of Mr Murphy. He described him as a Walter Mitty character. ''I don't want any more paperwork. I want to see the colour of money.’’

The case is now fully concluded and all compensation paid. 

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