CAB wins ruling on de Dietrich €4.6m Ponzi cash

The High Court has ruled that €4.65m seized by the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) from a Donegal-based suspected fraudster is the proceeds of crime.

Francois de Dietrich, who ran his scam from Ballybofey offices, has already had more than €20M seized in the North.

The money seized was uncovered in 11 bank accounts in the State, Belgium, Estonia and Luxembourg following a year-long investigation by the CAB, the garda fraud bureau and international authorities.

Donegal people will now be paid back some of their investment on a pro-rata basis when PricewaterhouseCoopers, which was appointed liquidator on both sides of the Border to Etic Solutions Ltd, owned by Mr De Dietrich, has completed its inquiries.

The probe, which also involved the PSNI, the Financial Services Authority in the UK and police forces in Estonia, Belgium and Luxembourg, identified 400 investors in Etic Solutions.

Inquiries established that many of the investors were still awaiting a return.

The Ballybofey company was put in liquidation and Mr De Dietrich left Donegal. He is hiding in France.

The Ballybofey company was put in liquidation and Mr De Dietrich left Donegal. He is believed to be somewhere in France.

Mr De Dietrich did not appear in court but a solicitor acting for him said that his client, although consenting to the making of order, denied any wrongdoing.