Former Irish Radio DJ Nikki Hayes' Money Laundering Case Adjourned

Former Irish radio DJ Eimear Black O'Keeffe, aka Nikki Hayes, pleaded guilty to possessing €10,000 as proceeds of crime in a money laundering scam. The court adjourned her case to October 7, 2024, to allow her to continue alcohol treatment.

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Nitish Verma
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Former Irish Radio DJ Nikki Hayes' Money Laundering Case Adjourned

Former Irish Radio DJ Nikki Hayes' Money Laundering Case Adjourned

Former Eimear Black O'Keeffe, a 44-year-old former Irish radio DJ also known as Nikki Hayes, has had her money laundering case adjourned to October 7, 2024 to continue her alcohol treatment. O'Keeffe, of The Way, Hunter's Run, Clonee, Dublin 15, previously pleaded guilty to possessing €10,000 as the proceeds of crime in a Permanent TSB bank account on November 5, 2020.

Why this matters: This case highlights the importance of addressing underlying mental health issues in the context of criminal proceedings, and raises questions about the accountability of individuals who are preyed upon by sophisticated scams. The outcome of this case will have implications for how the criminal justice system approaches cases involving vulnerable individuals.

In November 2020, €15,000 was lodged into O'Keeffe's bank account as part of a money laundering scam. Two further counts of possessing €2,600 and €2,400 as the proceeds of crime in her account on November 6, 2020, were taken into consideration by Dublin Circuit Criminal Court. The court heard that O'Keeffe was "genuinely vulnerable and struggling with her mental health" at the time.

At a hearing last year, the court heard that O'Keeffe had been attending a residential treatment center and had remained alcohol-free since the case was last adjourned. Her defense counsel, Keith Spencer BL, handed in €2,500 as a token of remorse, which was provided by someone who O'Keeffe had previously helped in their career and who now wanted to help her in turn. This amount clears the losses incurred as a result of O'Keeffe's offending.

Judge Martina Baxter adjourned the case to October 7 to allow O'Keeffe further time to continue with her alcohol treatment. The defense counsel is seeking that the matter be dealt with by way of Section 100 of the Criminal Justice Act, which would mean O'Keeffe would avoid a conviction.

O'Keeffe was belatedly diagnosed with bipolar and borderline personality disorder. She had been preyed upon by others operating a sophisticated money laundering scam. Her marriage had broken down, and she had reached rock bottom. O'Keeffe had six previous convictions for minor road traffic offenses dating back to 2005. She was in debt to the tune of €53,000 at the time of the offense, owing money to RTÉ and to various institutions in personal loans.

O'Keeffe had built up a very successful radio career over 24 or 27 years, starting at the age of 15 under the pseudonym of Nikki Hayes. She worked at RTÉ, Spin 103, Classic Hits, and East Coast FM, but is no longer employed in radio as a direct consequence of this case. O'Keeffe is currently doing an accountancy course.

The case against Eimear Black O'Keeffe, aka Nikki Hayes, highlights the impact of mental health struggles and vulnerability on an individual's life and career. The court's decision to adjourn the case to allow O'Keeffe to continue her alcohol treatment demonstrates a recognition of the importance of addressing underlying issues in such cases. As the legal proceedings continue, the outcome will shed light on the consequences of money laundering offenses and the potential for rehabilitation.

Key Takeaways

  • Ex-Irish radio DJ Eimear Black O'Keeffe (Nikki Hayes) pleaded guilty to money laundering.
  • She possessed €10,000 in a Permanent TSB bank account as proceeds of crime in 2020.
  • O'Keeffe was preyed upon by a sophisticated scam while struggling with mental health issues.
  • The court adjourned the case to October 2024 to allow her to continue alcohol treatment.
  • O'Keeffe's defense seeks to avoid conviction under Section 100 of the Criminal Justice Act.