A company that operates gaming and casino businesses, Dr. Quirkey’s Good Time Emporium on Dublin’s O’Connell Street, has been the victim of suspected fraud.
The shocking revelation is contained in the new consolidated accounts of Dublin Pool and Juke Box Ltd, which show an alleged misappropriation of funds at the operator of arcades and casinos totaling €1,017 million in 2019 and €1,009 million in 2018.
The business is owned by Richard Quirke, who is the father-in-law of Rosanna Davison and has long been associated with €480m plans for a huge development, including a casino, at Two Mile Borris in Co Tipperary.
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The 75-year-old has amassed a sizeable fortune from his Dublin-based casino business, with shareholder funds totaling €33.6m and the majority of the company’s wealth concentrated in properties with a book value of 34.3 million euros at the end of June 2019. .
But in the newly filed 2019 accounts, the directors in their report reveal that “in December 2020, the company discovered that it was the subject of fraud in the business.”
The company calculates the cost of the alleged fraud at 1,017 million euros in 2019 and 1,009 million euros in 2018 and has written off the amounts.
The breakdown of the alleged fraud in 2019 is made up of €887,000 in alleged ‘misappropriation of cash’ and alleged ‘misappropriated bank payments’ of €130,190.
Under the heading of ‘exceptional items’, the breakdown of the cost of the alleged fraud in 2018 is €912,000 under the alleged ‘misappropriation of cash’ and €97,203 under the alleged ‘misappropriation of bank payments’.
A note attached to the ‘exceptional match’ states that “in December 2020, the directors discovered a financial fraud perpetrated on the company through fraudulent bank payments. Payments have been written off in the financial statements as an exceptional item.
Regarding the alleged misappropriation of cash, the directors state that “in December 2020, the directors also discovered activities involving misappropriation of cash.”
Describing the company’s response to the alleged fraud, the directors state that after the alleged fraud was discovered “a thorough and exhaustive forensic investigation led by external financial consultants was conducted into the company’s systems and processes.”
The directors state that “this led to the identification of unpaid tax liabilities and interest that have been fully accrued in the company’s accounts.”
The accounts show that in 2019 €296,813 of interest was paid for overdue tax and €154,784 for the same concept in 2018.
The directors state that, following investigation by external financial consultants, “the company has implemented an extensive and extensive program of governance and operational improvements at all levels within the organization.”
Directors indicate that these include new manual and electronic systems to manage cash handling in the business; new security measures around the handling and collection of cash and new management control systems.
Other enhancements include strict new recruitment processes and enhanced training programs for employees in all roles and at all levels within the company and new appointments of managers and employees in key areas such as human resources, accounts and operations.
Director status changes also include the appointment of new directors to the board and on February 4 of this year, Debbie Lawrence, Andrew Quirke and Austin Kenny were appointed to the board.
The company’s annual statement lists Ms. Lawrence as CEO and Mr. Kenny as accountant.
They, along with director Andrew Quirke, join Richard Quirke and Anne Quirke on the board.
In a separate development under the heading of ‘contingent liabilities’, a note states that the company “is currently the subject of a Revenue investigation, the outcome of which is currently uncertain”.
The note states that “the directors have provided for additional liabilities and interest in the financial statements, but have not provided for possible penalties that may arise.”
The accounts from the end of June 2019 were due to be submitted in 2020, but were only signed on March 8 this year.
The alleged fraud contributed to the company posting a pre-tax loss of €1.27 million in the last 12 months to the end of June 2019 and this followed a pre-tax loss of €1.03 million in the fiscal year. 2018.
The company’s after-tax loss in 2019 was €1.45 million and in 2018 it was €1.26 million. The 2019 loss also takes into account combined non-cash depreciation and amortization costs of €1.2 million and a loss of €117,558 on the sale of tangible fixed assets.
The performance of this company before Covid shows that its revenue increased by 33%, from €7.57 million to €10.106 million in 2019 as the business expanded.
The 2019 loss also takes into account a non-cash write-down of €700,000 on the company’s investment property portfolio.
The number of employees increased from 57 to 86, as personnel costs increased by 40.5%, from €4.3 million to €6.04 million. Directors’ remuneration amounted to €213,000 in 2019.
During 2019, the cash flow of the business increased from 2.37 million euros to 3.99 million euros.
On the impact of Covid-19, the directors state that the pandemic had a severe impact on the company and, as a result, the business was unable to generate income.
They state: “Now that the Covid-19 restrictions have been lifted, the directors are confident that the business will fully recover and result in strong liquidity.” The directors state that the company promotes responsible gambling.
A Garda spokesman said on Sunday that “An Garda Síochána does not comment on named entities” when asked if a complaint about the suspected fraud had been received.
Dr. Quirkey’s Good Time Emporium did not respond to a request for comment Sunday.
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