Businessman pleads guilty in €13m ponzi-scheme case

Businessman Breifne O'Brien has pleaded guilty to numerous charges relating to a multimillion euro ponzi scheme.

The 52-year-old with an address at Monkstown Grove, Co Dublin is expected to be sentenced next month.

Mr O'Brien went all the way to the Supreme Court to try and stop his trial on charges that he stole and deceived five individuals out of €13m.

But at his arraignment today, the tanned businessman, who wore a blue suit and white shirt, entered guilty pleas on 14 sample charges dating from 2003 to 2008.

The 52-year-old entrepreneur now admits defrauding friends and associates like farmer Louis Dowley and businessman Evan Newell, who was duped into handing over nearly €1m for bogus property deals in Hamburg.

The scam has been described as a "ponzi" or pyramid scheme.

Judge Patricia Ryan heard that he has no previous convictions.

She has remanded him on continuing bail and is likely to set aside a day for a sentence hearing on a date next month.

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