Former Government Minister Ivor Callely faces up to 10 years in jail after he was arrested on fraud charges.
Fianna Fail politician Callely remained in custody on Thursday after he was detained close to his home in the north Dublin suburb of Clontarf.
A former deputy and senator, Callely is being questioned by police as part of a criminal investigation into allegations that he fraudulently claimed expenses for mobile phones on falsified receipts.
Callely, now 53, was a serving deputy and a Minister for State when it is alleged he made the false telephone expenses claims with receipts from a company that had gone out of business.
A close friend of former Prime Minister Bertie Ahern, Callely was arrested on suspicion of alleged breaches of a section of the Theft and Fraud Offences Act, which prohibits the commission of fraud using ‘false instruments’.
The Irish Times reports that if an offence of using false or fraudulent paperwork, known under law as a ‘false instrument’, were proven, it would carry a sanction on conviction of up to 10 years’ imprisonment.
The operation had been planned by police who searched Callely’s home and nearby offices.
Officers have questioned Callely about receipts he lodged with the parliament over a number of years to support claims for mobile phones and telephone car kits over a number of years totalling almost $5,000.
Newspaper reports recently claimed that the receipts were from a company which had ceased trading years before the dates on which Callely claimed he availed of its services.
The expenses related to a period between 2002 and 2006 but the company had ceased trading in 1994.