Two businessmen and an art teacher have appeared in court charged in connection with €6 million "ghost broker" motor insurance policy fraud.
Forty-five-year-old Alexander Afanaschenko of Bewley Drive in Lucan, 38-year-old Mikhail Yegorov from Charnwood Court in Clonsilla, and 44-year-old Elena Olenik from Berryfield, Finnstown in Lucan, Dublin, were brought before Blanchardstown District Court today.
The charges follow an investigation by the Garda Special Investigations Unit in Roads Policing Division based at Dublin Castle.
The court was told that more than 2,500 motor insurance policies, valued at €6 million were identified as having been fraudulently obtained from ten insurance companies.
Garda George Thurlow told the court it was alleged Mr Afanaschenko was a director of a named company which operated as a "ghost broker" from January 2013 until September 2018.
He faces 210 charges: 91 counts of money laundering, 76 deception charges, one count of fraudulent trading contrary to the Companies Act, as well as being accused of using false documentation.
Fraudulent documents were allegedly used get policies with beneficial premiums.
Originally from Russia, Mr Afanaschenko has lived in Ireland for 18 years and was the holder of Irish, Moldovan and Russian passports. There was no objection to bail with conditions.
The court was told that Mikhail Yegorov is from Ukraine, but identifies as Irish and has lived in Ireland since 2014.
Garda Sergeant John Carey said Mr Yegorov is accused of 21 money laundering offences by possessing the proceeds of criminal conduct, and one charge of fraudulent trading of a ghost broker venture.
It is alleged he worked with Mr Afanaschenko and that he and his co-accused were paid to use false information, including fake licences and no claims bonus certificates, to get genuine insurance policies with reduced premiums.
The court heard €180,000 allegedly went through one bank account over two years.
The two businessmen had bail set with €5,000 lodgements, and their legal aid applications were deferred.
The judge ordered them to sign on regularly at their local Garda stations, to surrender travel documentation, alert gardaí if they will be away from their homes for more than 24 hours, not to leave the jurisdiction, and have no contact with injured parties.
The third accused, self-employed art teacher Elena Olenik who is originally from Latvia, faces 15 money laundering charges and 20 counts of forgery of documents, Garda Thurlow told the court.
Her solicitor Wayne Kenny said she is currently on the Pandemic Unemployment Payment and she was granted legal aid.
The court was told the Director of Public Prosecutions directed trial on indictment in the Circuit Court.
All three have been remanded on bail to appear again at Blanchardstown District Court in July for service of the book of evidence and to be returned for trial.