Alleged fraud of 2 million euros was discovered at Dr Quirkey's Good Time Emporium company

Alleged fraud of 2 million euros was discovered at Dr Quirkey’s Good Time Emporium company

An alleged fraud of 2 million euros has been discovered at the company that runs arcade and casino operations, Dr Quirkey’s Good Time Emporium on O’Connell Street in Dublin.

This shocking revelation is contained in new consolidated accounts for Dublin Pool and Juke Box Ltd, which show that the alleged embezzlement of funds at the gaming hall and casino operator amounted to EUR 1,017 million in 2019 and EUR 1,009 million in 2018.

The business is owned by businessman Richard Quirke, who is Rosanna Davison’s father-in-law and has long been associated with plans for 480 million euros for a major development, including a casino, at Two Mile Borris in Co Tipperary.

The 75-year-old has built up a considerable fortune from his Dublin-based casino business with shareholder funds totaling EUR 33.6 million. Most of the company’s assets are concentrated in properties with a book value of EUR 34.3 million at the end of June 2019.

But in the newly submitted 2019 accounts, the directors reveal in their report that “in December 2020, the company discovered that it was the subject of a fraud in the business”.

The company estimates the cost of the alleged fraud at EUR 1,017 million in 2019 and EUR 1,009 million in 2018 and has written off the amounts.

The division of the alleged fraud in 2019 consists of 887,000 euros in alleged “embezzlement of cash” and alleged “embezzled bank payments” of 130,190 euros.

Under the heading “exceptional items”, the distribution of the cost of the alleged fraud in 2018 is € 912,000 under alleged “embezzlement of cash” and € 97,203 under alleged “embezzled bank payments”.

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Dr Quirkey’s Good Time Emporium on Dublin’s O’Connell Street

A note attached to the “exceptional item” states that “in December 2020, the board members discovered a financial fraud committed against the company through fraudulent bank payments. The payments have been written off in the financial statements as an exceptional item”.

Regarding the alleged embezzlement of cash, the directors state that “in December 2020, directors also discovered activities that involved embezzlement of cash”.

The directors report on the company’s response to the alleged fraud that after the alleged fraud was discovered “a thorough and comprehensive forensic investigation was conducted led by external financial consultants of the company’s systems and processes”.

The board members state that “this led to the identification of unpaid taxes and interest liabilities that have been fully accrued in the company’s accounts”.

The accounts show that € 296,813 in interest was paid on tax due in 2019 and € 154,784 was paid under the same heading in 2018.

The board members state that after the external financial consultants’ investigation “the company has implemented a comprehensive and comprehensive program for governance and operational improvements at all levels within the organization”.

The directors state that these include new manual and electronic systems for handling cash management in the business; new security measures regarding cash handling and cash collection and new management control systems.

Other improvements include new rigorous recruitment processes and improved training programs for employees in all roles and at all levels within the company, as well as new hires and managerial appointments in key areas such as personnel, finance and operations.

The Board’s improvements also include new Board members appointed to the Board, and on February 4 this year, Debbie Lawrence, Andrew Quirke and Austin Kenny were appointed to the Board.

The company’s annual return lists Ms Lawrence as CEO and Mr Kenny as auditor.

They sit on the board together with the director, Andrew Quirke together with Richard Quirke and Anne Quirke.

In a separate development under the heading “contingent liabilities”, it is stated in a note that the company “is currently the subject of a Revenue Investigation, the outcome of which is currently uncertain”.

The note states that “the board members have provided additional liabilities and interest in the financial statements but have not prescribed any penalties that may arise”.

The accounts at the end of June 2019 were to be submitted in 2020 but were not written off until March 8 this year.

The alleged fraud contributed to the company recording pre-tax losses of EUR 1.27 million in the last 12 months to the end of June 2019 and this followed pre-tax losses of EUR 1.03 million during the 2018 financial year.

The company’s loss after tax in 2019 was EUR 1.45 million and in 2018 EUR 1.26 million. The loss in 2019 also takes into account combined non-cash depreciation and amortization costs of EUR 1.2 million and a loss of € 117,558 on the sale of property, plant and equipment.

This company’s earnings before Covid show that its revenue increased by 33 percent from € 7.57 million to € 10.106 million in 2019 as the business expanded.

The loss for 2019 also takes into account a write-down of € 700,000 that is not cash in the company’s investment property portfolio.

The number of employees increased from 57 to 86 as personnel costs increased by 40.5 percent from EUR 4.3 million to EUR 6.04 million. The Board members’ salary amounted to EUR 213,000 for 2019.

In 2019, the business’s cash increased from EUR 2.37 million to EUR 3.99 million.

Regarding the Covid-19 impact, the directors state that the pandemic had a serious impact on the company and as a result, the business could not generate revenue.

They say: “Now that the Covid-19 restrictions have been lifted, the board members are convinced that the business will fully recover and result in strong liquidity.” The directors state that the company promotes responsible gaming.

A spokesman for Garda said on Sunday that “An Garda Síochána does not comment on named entities” on the question of whether a complaint has been received regarding the alleged fraud.

Dr Quirkey’s Good Time Emporium did not respond to a request for comment on Sunday.

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