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Leading GAA man denies £2m tax fraud

Gerry Moane.  DP39

Gerry Moane

A WELL-known Fermanagh GAA figure has denied making false tax returns to claim over £2m in VAT repayments.

46-year-old Gerry Moane, of Eschnillogue, Teigeshill Road, Brookeboro, pleaded not guilty to 25 charges of filing false VAT returns over a six year period from 2006-2012, at Fermanagh Crown Court.

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Some of the individual charges amount to almost £500,000, with a total amount of £2,073,598.

It is believed to be one of the biggest alleged VAT fraud cases in Northern Ireland.

All of the charges relate to Moane Contracts Ltd.

The defendant yesterday denied that he submitted false VAT returns for £17,875.21 in a period from December 1, 2005 to February 28, 2006 on 25 occasions.

He originally faced 27 similar charge for various amounts, but Crown Prosecutor Jonathan Lowry told the court that two were withdrawn.

Mr Moane was in the running for manager of the Fermangh senior football team last year, and is a former manager of the Tyrone Ladies football team.

His wife Dympna (44) who is his co-accused, is charged with making a false VAT return for Moane Contracts Ltd, claiming a VAT repayment of £19,600 in 2006.

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She is also charged with acquiring criminal property in VAT repayment in a period from March 1 2006 to June 30 2012.

Declan McAleer, defence counsel for Dympna Moane applied for the two charges against Mrs Moane, to be struck out.

One was struck out, and the court heard that the application to strike out the other charge would be heard on Friday.

Gerry Moane was wearing a black leather jacket and black trousers while Dympna Moane wore a black jacket and a blue jumper and dark trousers.

The defendant spoke only to enter a plea of not guilty during the fifteen minute hearing as the couple sat side by side at the back of the court.

Jim Gallagher QC, defense counsel for Gerry Moane, said the defense would need evidence from a forensic accountant.

The court heard the trial could take up to three weeks.

Judge Gemma Loughran adjourned the case until May 19, and ruled that the defence should have the forensic accountants report by May 6.

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The Fermanagh Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
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