Tuesday 26 September 2017

Husband 'was duped' as wife stole €3m from Glen Dimplex

LEGAL

John Mulligan

John Mulligan

The husband of a woman who stole over €3m from Irish firm Glen Dimplex claimed he was "duped" by his wife about the source of the money as she lavished expensive gifts on her family.

Shelagh Smith, who worked as a purchase ledger supervisor with Glen Dimplex in the UK, stole £2.8m (€3.3m) between 2005 and 2010 by creating fictitious payments to suppliers.

The funds were funneled to her accounts including that of her daughter, while the proceeds were used to buy gifts and assets including property in Ballina, Co Mayo.

Mrs Smith's fraud was uncovered in October last year while she was away from work. She was summarily dismissed, and in June this year she submitted to a £2.8m judgment against her.

Glen Dimplex, which manufactures home appliances and is headquartered in Dublin, subsequently sought to secure summary judgments against members of Mrs Smith's extended family, including her second husband, Roy Smith, and her daughter from her first marriage, Karen Lewis.

Disaster

A judge hearing the case in London said that Mrs Smith had engaged in "greed and dishonesty" and that her theft from Glen Dimplex had "brought disaster" to her family.

Roy Smith had worked as an engineer for Glen Dimplex until 2005 when he retired as result of a back injury he sustained in 2003. In 2007, he received a £230,000 (€274,000) settlement from the company.

Mr Justice Jonathan Hirst of London's High Court heard evidence from Mr Smith that he believed the couple were "cash rich" after downsizing their home and a subsequent equity release.

Mr Smith said that after his work accident he was on medication that impaired his memory and Mrs Smith had taken control of their finances.

He claimed in court that he was not aware that Mrs Smith had misappropriated funds.

The judge granted the application for summary judgment against him. However, he said claims of dishonest assistance against Mrs Lewis would have to go to trial.

Irish Independent

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