Man in court accused of depriving Donegal investors

It's been claimed in Donegal Circuit Court that a 50 year old man accused of depriving investors of €177,000 headed a company called Pear Shaped Resources.

The court was told the company was set up in January 2004 in the British Virgin Islands and the share capital was in US dollars.

Thomas Elvin denies 26 charges of operating as an illegal investor on a variety of dates between 2003 and 2005 and of deceiving people of their cash during the same period at a number of locations in Donegal town, Ballybofey and Cloghan.

Prosecutor Patricia McLaughlin told a jury of six men and six women that there were two nominee directors of Pear Shaped Resources but effectively it was run by Elvin who had power of attorney. A Florida-based associate, Larry Marsella, worked for Pear Shaped.

The prosecution said there were seven victims of a series of actions by Elvin and there would be evidence from six of them. The seventh, Elizabeth Duncan, was dead.

Ms McLaughlin said none of the invested money was returned.

The jury was told that the prosecution claimed Elvin, of Meencargagh, Ballybofey, operated as an investor without authorisation.

The prosecution claims Elvin operated through Irish companies Countrywide Ltd and Countrywide Provident , and through Pear Shaped Resources.

Ms McLaughlin said investigating gardai were able to identify that between €80,000 and €100,000 of the €177,000 was sent to Larry Marsella in Florida. He invested it in a company called ForEx, a high-risk investment firm where there could be substantial gains but the risk was huge. Half of the money was lost there.

When the charges were read to him Elvin said clearly to each before Judge John O’Hagan: “Definitely not guilty.”

The trial continues.