Former RTÉ 2FM DJ Nikki Hayes’ money laundering sentence postponed after breach – The Irish Times

A former radio DJ whose bank account had €15,000 transferred as part of a money laundering scam has been given an adjournment for assault.

Nikki Hayes (44), real name Eimear Black O’Keeffe, of The Way, Hunter’s Run, Clonee, Dublin 15, pleaded guilty on November 5 to possessing €10,000 in the proceeds of crime in a TSB permanent bank account in the state have. 2020.

Two further cases involving having criminal proceeds of €2,600 and €2,400 in her account on November 6, 2020 were examined by Dublin District Criminal Court.

Judge Martina Baxter was informed that O’Keeffe fell on Wednesday and was taken to St James’s Hospital in Dublin. She was later released citing a concussion.

Gardaí confirmed this information was correct and Kieran Kelly BL, prosecuting, had no objection to the matter being adjourned for a week.

Judge Baxter adjourned the matter to November 10 for a final decision and remanded O’Keeffe on bail.

At a hearing last week, Garda Neill Gavin agreed with defense counsel that O’Keeffe was “really vulnerable” and was struggling with her mental health at the time.

Keith Spencer BL, defending, said O’Keeffe had been belatedly diagnosed with bipolar and borderline personality disorder and had been “exploited” by others who ran a sophisticated money laundering fraud.

O’Keeffe’s marriage had failed and she had hit “rock bottom,” the lawyer said.

Mr Kelly said the offense came to light after the victim in the case received a text message on his phone on the same day, purporting to be from Permanent TSB.

The message said the man had “paired with a new device” and was to click on the attached link, so he followed those instructions and was redirected to his PTSB bank account.

Three amounts of €2,600, €2,400 and €10,000, making a total of €15,000, were then deducted from the man’s account and transferred to O’Keeffe’s account, the court heard.

Over the next 24 hours, cash withdrawals were made from Revolut and through multiple ATM transactions in the Liffey Valley.

Garda Gavin said a blonde lady was seen making ATM transactions in the Liffey Valley but he was unable to say whether it was O’Keeffe.

The court heard the rest of the money was blocked and returned to the injured party, leaving the bank with an outstanding loss of around €2,000.

O’Keeffe was arrested and interviewed the following March and co-operated fully with gardaí, the court heard.

She told gardaí that she had fallen on hard times and that someone had contacted her and told her there might be a way she could make around €2,000 if she allowed her bank account to be used.

Gda Gavin said when O’Keeffe saw the money coming into her account she was worried but the person who had involved her pressured her to go ahead with the transactions.

She has been convicted of minor traffic offenses six times since 2005.

Mr Spencer said O’Keeffe was €53,000 in debt at the time of the offense and owed money to RTÉ and various private lending institutions.

She sold her car and used some of the proceeds to pay off her car loan and also to take her daughter to Disneyland, the court heard.

The barrister said O’Keeffe had struggled with her mental health for many years, was misdiagnosed and was non-compliant with her medication at the time of the offending.

She agreed with gardaí in an interview that she had been careless in giving her card details to a former boyfriend who had told her there was an easy way to make money.

O’Keeffe met a person in Blanchardstown, handed over their details and bank card and was told they would get it back at the end of the day, but she did not receive her card back.

She told gardaí that when she saw irregularities in her account, she told her contact that she was going to the guards, but the other person then threatened to burn down her house.

O’Keeffe told gardaí she was not the person who withdrew the funds from ATMs in the Liffey Valley.

Counsel said O’Keeffe built a successful radio career for more than 20 years, starting at age 15 under the pseudonym Nikki Hayes.

She worked for eight years at RTÉ and also for Spin 103, Classic Hits and East Coast FM, but was no longer employed in radio as a direct result of this case, the lawyer said.

A probation report had assessed O’Keeffe as being at high risk of re-offending, but Garda Gavin agreed with the defense that she was unlikely to re-offend as her mental health had now stabilised.

A probation report had assessed O’Keeffe as being at high risk of re-offending, but Garda Gavin agreed with the defense that she was unlikely to re-offend as her mental health had now stabilised.

The court found that O’Keeffe had not materially benefited in any way from the crime.

The lawyer said O’Keeffe’s life was marked by mental health problems, including anorexia, addiction problems and postpartum depression, but that she had completely overcome these problems and was now okay with her medication and alcohol consumption.

Her ex-husband has custody of their daughter and O’Keeffe sees the child twice a week, the court heard.

O’Keeffe is completing an accounting course and has written a book called Crying into the Saucepan about her mental health struggles, the court heard. The lawyer said she has publicly expressed her desire to help others struggling with their mental health.

Mr Spencer said his client had pleaded guilty at the first opportunity and was obliged to pay back the outstanding €2,000 to the bank once her financial situation improved.

Judge Baxter had previously adjourned the case to allow defense counsel to complete it to provide further documentation regarding O’Keeffe’s alcohol status and information about when she stopped working in radio.

Curtis Crabtree

Curtis Crabtree is a WSTNewsPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Curtis Crabtree joined WSTNewsPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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