The story of a florist turned fraudster Catherine O’Brien
There is nothing ordinary about Catherine O’Briena woman described by neighbors in Dungarvan as someone who kept herself to herself.
She is known to most as Catherine, while those who thought they were close to her called her Kate or Katie. Some knew her as Amy Power; it inhabits many different characters.
Find out how Catherine O’Brien gained the trust of people around her, who repeatedly invested in her business plans.
Learn about the Criminal Assets Bureau judgment against her, the business dealings she entangled friends and family in, and the jeep purchase that ultimately caught her.
Catherine O’Brien’s days as a young mother and florist in rural Waterford were — at first sight — idyllic.
But, in a village harboring its own mystery, O’Brien’s ability to dissuade money people led the aristocratic Nicola Beresford Minihan to lose his two estates to his business ventures.
Nicola, whose graduation did not prepare her to meet someone like Catherine O’Brien, recalls the destruction she wrought in her life and the last time she met O’Brien , during a Garda investigation.
After exhausting the possibility of making money from flowers in Dungarvan, Catherine O’Brien turned to farm-related businesses, appealing to farmers in Limerick and Clare who had invested heavily in businesses , some of which never existed.
It was his online relationship with a vet in Clare that introduced him to all of the horses – allowing him to aim higher and higher in the financial stakes.
Horses and associated businesses have been part of many of Catherine O’Brien’s projects.
High society money appealed to her, and she even tried to involve Senator David Norris in her schemes. But she went too far by getting involved with expensive thoroughbred horses – abandoning them.
With an animal cruelty conviction hanging over her and a warrant for her arrest, she escaped Garda detection.