An Irish sporting legend who is reportedly under investigation for allegedly making up a cancer-related illness and borrowing massive funds from friends and associates also targeted a leading Irish American.
The GAA star, who can not be named under Ireland’s libel laws, is reportedly the subject of a major fraud inquiry by Ireland's An Garda Síochána (Irish police).
The value of the alleged fraud is running close to €1 million, the Irish Independent reports, with some individuals reported to have given him up to €200,000.
IrishCentral can reveal that the Irish sports star contacted at least one leading Irish American and has sought contacts with wealthy businessmen from his county living in the US.
The GAA legend repeated the story about being in dire financial straits and asked for massive loans. He told the Irish American he was ill and needed funding urgently.
His message in America has been the same as in Ireland, hinting at a serious cancer condition and asking for massive loans for funds. The Irish American considered the matter and thought the former star seemed so agitated he might need medical care.
Soon after retirement, the GAA player married a rich businesswoman and the two had a very public star quality life. However, it all came crashing down and the marriage ended. Now comes this strange behavior.
In Ireland, the alleged fraudster recently lost a court case where a wealthy businessman sued to win back a large amount of money he had loaned him after the sports legend pleaded his case that he needed US cancer care. The businessman later found out that instead of being treated in Seattle, the accused was actually playing golf in Ireland.
The Irish Times reports: “To date, the people who have gone to gardaí and made statements of complaint have alleged they gave the former GAA player sums ranging from a few thousand euro to more than €100,000.
"One man who has known the former player for some time has claimed he gave him €120,000."
One woman who was scammed out of €5,000 by the Irish sports star is encouraging other people to come forward.
“It’s beyond imaginable how deceptive he was,” the businesswoman told the Irish Independent.
“People need to have the balls to come forward.
“I know a lot of people who have come forward, but there are some who haven’t.
“I don’t understand people feeling stupid or embarrassed. At the end of the day, people did this out of generosity.
“He was approaching some people at the most vulnerable time in their lives.
“I don’t believe I was an easy target. I was someone he knew from his business and sporting days and I did this in good faith. What an awful individual,” she added.
On Wednesday, the Irish Times reported that Gardaí interviewed the former superstar who spent hours answering their queries.