Sentencing deferred in fraud case

A Ballybofey man who was convicted in December of defruading seven investors of €177,000 will not be sentenced until July.

A Ballybofey man who was convicted in December of defruading seven investors of €177,000 will not be sentenced until July.

Thomas Elvin, a 50-year-old farmer from Meencargagh, Ballybofey was due to be sentenced today at Donegal Circuit Court.

In December, a jury took just over an hour to find him guilty of 26 charges, including 12 counts of acting as a business investment firm without authorisation and 14 counts of making profit or causing loss by deception. The offences took place on dates between December 2003 and March 2005 at locations in Donegal town, Ballybofey and Cloghan.

During the court case, emails were read out in which Thomas Elvin and an associate in Florida - Larry Marsella of Loan Doctors - wrote extensively of their strong Christian beliefs and their desire to “make money to do God’s work”. Elvin hoped that Marsella would make him $500m.

Elvin’s victims included Darren Williamson, his mother Mavourneen, his sister Michelle and Daniel Ward - all of Donegal town and Fergus Herron of Cloghanmore, Clogher.

Sharman Duncan of Donegal town and her late mother Elizabeth were deprived of their life savings of €102,000, much of which included life insurance policies paid out following the death of John Duncan, Sharman’s father and Elizabeth’s husband, in January 2004. None of the seven investors ever received a penny back from Elvin, a point Elvin himself conceded in court.

At today’s court hearing, Judge John O’Hagan adjourned sentencing to Carrick-on-Shannon Circuit Court on July 3 to allow for completion of Probation Reports.