A FORMER college dean has been fined €3,000 for using his work credit card to pay for flights for himself, his wife and a woman he was having an affair with over a period of several months.
After the thefts came to light, Ali Shimaz (36), originally from the Maldives, resigned from his post at the American College where he was responsible for recruitment of foreign students.
Shimaz pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to 11 counts of theft of money totalling €5,622 from American College on dates between June and September 2009.
Shimaz, of Elysian Apartments, Port Lane, Cork, but currently living in Dublin where he works in student recruitment at another college, has no previous convictions and has since repaid the money to the college.
Judge Mary Ellen Ring remanded Shimaz in custody for an hour-and-a-half yesterday morning while she considered her sentence.
Judge Ring noted the thefts were not sophisticated and there was a clear paper trail of emails and credit card statements showing what Shimaz was up to. She said this type of offending was a serious matter for employers, particularly in the present economic times.
She said his current employers were to be credited for taking a chance with him and noted it was a shame more employers did not do so as such chances were important for rehabilitation.
Judge Ring said she did not think society would be best served by imprisoning him and imposed a €3,000 fine to repay the State some of the expense incurred during the investigation.
Garda Christopher Fitzgerald told Rosin Lacey, prosecuting, that he received a call from the director of finance at the college in October 2009 regarding the suspected theft by Shimaz.
Shimaz had originally been a student at the college and subsequently became an employee rising to the position of dean with responsibility for attracting foreign students to the college.