Art teacher and two businessmen face 260 charges over alleged € 6m ‘ghost broker’ insurance scam
It was the two businessmen and an art teacher who were indicted for a â¬ 6 million âphantom brokerâ car insurance fraud operation.
The three are accused of participating in a scam that allegedly led 10 insurance companies to issue around 2,500 policies after false information was provided through “brokerage”.
Alexandr Afanascenko (45), Mikhail Yegorov (38) and Elena Oleinik (44) are on trial on more than 260 combined charges and were released on bail when they appeared in district court today from Blanchardstown.
Judge Gerard Jones adjourned the cases for the preparation of evidence books.
Mr. Afanascenko, of Bewley Drive, Lucan, is charged with 210 offenses.
He faces 91 counts of money laundering, 78 of theft by deception by insurance companies and policyholders, 40 charges of using false documents and one of fraudulent transaction.
Mr Yegorov of Charnwood Court, Clonsilla is charged with 22 offenses – 21 counts of money laundering and one of fraudulent trade.
Ms Oleinik (44), of Berryfield, Finnstown, Lucan is charged with 35 offenses – 20 counts of counterfeiting and 15 counts of money laundering.
Garda George Thurlow said it was alleged that Mr. Afanascenko acted as what was colloquially referred to as a shadow broker in connection with insurance fraud between January 2013 and September 2018.
It was alleged that he was a director of a named company from March 2016 “and that this company was used as a vehicle to carry out this activity and launder the proceeds of its criminal conduct”, said Gda Thurlow.
He said around 2,500 car insurance policies had been identified as facilitated and the alleged fraud involved totaled more than â¬ 6 million in 10 insurance companies.
The garda said deception was used to accept policies and fraudulent documents were used to obtain favorable premiums.
The charges revolved around an example case, Gda Thurlow said.
Garda Sergeant John Carey said it was alleged that Yegorov was involved in processing the proceeds of criminal conduct as a result of the shadow brokerage.
When asked if the two worked together, Sgt Carey told the judge that they were both part of the same company, but Mr. Afanascenko was more directly involved in ghost brokering.
The allegations against Yegorov were “more that he knew it was happening and allowed it to happen”.
It was alleged that they were obtaining genuine insurance policies from legitimate insurance companies, but providing false and misleading information on behalf of the policyholders and charging brokerage fees.
This included providing fake no-claim bonus certificates and driver’s licenses, the court said.
The court heard that around â¬ 180,000 had passed through bank accounts over a two-year period.
The accounts were accessible to both Mr. Afanascenko and Mr. Yegorov, it was alleged.
Gda Thurlow said Ms Oleinik’s involvement had “to do with the falsification of documents”.
Judge Jones granted the first two defendants bail on a cash bond of â¬ 5,000 each, on condition that they surrender their passports, contact witnesses, leave jurisdiction and register for a post of keep.
He postponed decisions to grant legal aid for the two men, saying he wanted to see the financial statements.
Ms Oleinik, a mother of three, was already out on bail in a guardhouse. The judge granted her legal aid after her lawyer Wayne Kenny said she was a freelance art teacher on Covid payments.
The DPP ordered an indictment trial on all counts and the three defendants were released on bail until July for the preparation of evidence books.
The investigation is being carried out by the Garda Special Investigations Unit attached to the Dublin Castle Roads Police Unit.
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