Businessman held on $6m ‘worldwide’ fraud charges after arrest in Belfast on US extradition warrant

A Co Antrim-based businessman is an alleged senior figure in a suspected six million dollar ‘boiler room’ fraud operated on a global scale, a court heard today.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 1st October 2021, 10:28 pm
Updated Friday, 1st October 2021, 10:30 pm
Thomas Andrew Kenny appeared in court in Belfast in relation to claims of fraud with a global dimension.
Thomas Andrew Kenny appeared in court in Belfast in relation to claims of fraud with a global dimension.

Thomas Andrew Kenny, 33, of Baileys Gate in Ballymena, was arrested in Belfast on Thursday by police acting on an extradition warrant.

He appeared at Laganside Courts where a judge was told he faces potential charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to money launder, and aggravated identity theft, from 2015 to 2021.

Barrister Stephen Ritchie, for the USA, claimed Kenny acted as office manager in a so-called boiler room scheme - where high-pressure tactics are used to persuade investors into purchasing bogus stock.

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“He and others posed as investment brokers and used high-pressure sales techniques and multimedia to trick victims into buying non-existent securities,” counsel said. “The figure mentioned is in excess of six million US dollars.”

Kenny was detained after police stopped his Audi car on Clifton Street in Belfast. Mr Ritchie said he had two passports, three mobile phones and 14 bank cards when arrested. Opposing bail, the barrister submitted: “The suspicion is he was making off.”

Defence barrister Sean Devine said Kenny does not consent to extradition.

He said his client is a director in three different companies in NI, has no criminal record, and that it had been disproportionate to arrest him.

Judge Devlin said the alleged crimes had “a worldwide dimension”. He ruled that Kenny can be released on a £40,000 cash surety with a curfew, electronic monitoring and ban on leaving NI. However, he remains in custody pending an appeal against the judge’s decision.