White-collar crime and (not so much) punishment

Breifne O'Brien has been sentenced to seven years for running a pyramid scheme. But his conviction is an exception to the white-collar rule.

12th October, 2014
Thomas Byrne. Picture: Courtpix

Counsel for Breifne O’Brien, the businessman sentenced to seven years in prison last week for operating an €8.5 million pyramid scheme, referred to “a high level of Schadenfreude” present in reports on the case.

In May 2012, O’Brien made an application for prohibition of trial because of adverse publicity; remarks made by a High Court judge; a book chapter; a number of newspaper articles and a TV documentary. As a result,...

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