Martin Foley: no assets

A controversial debt collection agency owned by criminal Martin 'The Viper' Foley has not listed any assets or liabilities in its annual accounts over the last four years.

Business sources say that Viper Debt Recovery and Repossession Services Limited is operating as a shell company and is facing a potential investigation by the Director of Corporate Enforcement

Fifty-three-year-old Foley has recently been accused of putting people "ill at ease" when seeking to recover debts and gardaí are very concerned about the business, believing that the Viper is using his fearsome reputation to collect money from people too afraid of facing the consequences of not paying up.

Foley has 45 criminal convictions and is regarded by gardaí as being involved in drug dealing and other serious criminal activities.

His company was incorporated on 18 November 2004 with Martin Foley being listed as the sole shareholder, owning the only company share, which was worth €1.

He described himself as a "sales rep" on the documentation establishing the business, which is listed as having its headquarters at Foley's home address on Cashel Road in Crumlin.

The most recent annual accounts filed for the business on 29 May 2008 lists the company as having no fixed assets, current assets or current liabilities. This has been consistent over the last four years.

Garda sources say that Foley has been earning tens of thousands of euro in recent months collecting debts because of the recession. Reputable businessmen have been hiring Foley to recover debts and pay him a commission of between 15% and 20%.

It is highly unusual for companies to have no declared assets or liabilities in a period spanning four years and Foley is leaving himself open to investigation, especially because he has spoken publically about how busy his business is.

Phone calls to Viper Debt Recovery and Repossession Services were not returned.