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Gardai 'overwhelmed' with complaints against GAA legend accused of taking millions in cancer scam

Many of the victims say they lost some of their life savings, ranging from 5,000 to 200,000 euros, in the alleged scam

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John KieransSunday World

The Gardai have been "overwhelmed" with complaints from the public against the GAA legend accused of taking millions from people in a fake cancer scam.

Many of the victims contacted investigating officers by phone weeks ago but have yet to be interviewed to make a full formal statement because there are so many of them.

It is understood the investigation team have been inundated with complaints from members of the public many of whom say they lost some of their personal life savings.

All say they gave the player money as a loan and the sums involved range from €5,000 to €200,000.

One man who lost €10,000 said: " I spoke at length to one of the Gardai involved weeks ago and outlined exactly what happened.

"They still have not come back to me yet to sit down and take a full statement.

"They said it is not their fault and that they have been absolutely overwhelmed with complaints from members of the public who fell for your man's lies.

"The talk now is that the money involved could hit the two million mark. It seems as if he was living off this cash for the last decade and not a penny was sent to a hospital in America for cancer treatment.

"The more the Gardai check they are discovering he has no more cancer than the man on the moon.

"When you see great people like the late Vicky Phelan fighting the disease to her last breath and then fellas like this lad trying to make money out of a shocking illness, it really makes me angry and annoyed.

"It looks like this investigation is now so big it will be a slow process but hopefully the Gardai will get there in the end and justice will be done.

"However I don't think we will ever see our money back."

The legend has been arrested and questioned by Gardai but was released without charge while the top level probe continues. A file at some stage will be going to the DPP.

It is understood he is living in a home near a small village and is keeping his head down.

Gardai don't regard him as a flight risk although the airport authorities have been warned to be on their guard in case he does change his mind and try to flee the country.

The legend claimed he had cancer in the blood and asked people for the money to pay for life changing stem cell treatment in America.

The alarm was raised in the past year when he was away on holidays and played in golf outings when he was supposed to be in the US for treatment.

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