Wednesday 20 September 2017

Man jailed for stealing over €700,000 worth of Clarins cosmetics from his employer (80)

(Stock picture)
(Stock picture)

Liz Farsaci

A father-of-four who stole Clarins cosmetic products with a retail value of over €700,000 from his 80-year-old employer was sentenced to two and half years with the final year suspended.

Joseph Walshe (49) of Carrickmines Dale, Carrickmines Wood, Dublin 18 also known as Jody Walshe, was convicted of ten counts of theft by a jury on May 10 last, after a trial that lasted 12 days at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

Walshe, who was employed as a general manager at Nevinar Cosmetics Ltd from November 2006 to December 2011, had overall responsibility for sales, marketing, public relations and the movement of stock in and out of a warehouse used by the company.

The court heard he dishonestly organised the movement of Clarins products between November 2009 and December 2011 and retained proceeds from the goods for himself.

Detective Sergeant Seán McClafferty said that Nevinar Cosmetics was set up in Ireland in 1987 by now 87-year-old Jerry Hickey. Initially the company involved just Mr Hickey and a suitcase, and then developed into a large business, becoming the sole distributor of a number of cosmetic brands.

Anne Rowland, BL, prosecuting, said Clarins products were purchased from Clarins in Paris by Nevinar. The products purchased by Nevinar were then stored in a warehouse distributed to customers. These customers primarily included high-end department stores and chemists.

Five per cent of the stock purchased was designated as “Free of Charge”, and was used for marketing purposes and training courses. Meanwhile, “Purchase Credit Release” was a method by which discontinued or damaged stock would be placed out of circulation.

Walshe was able to take some of this stock and sell it onto a cosmetic wholesaler who was based in the UK.

This wholesaler believed Walshe was acting on behalf of Nevinar, and made payments to him, but the bank details Walshe provided him with were the details of his own personal account.

In total, Walshe was paid a total of €204,122.38 for the Clarins cosmetics. The loss of these products to Nevinar equalled €181,582.00 – but the retail value of the products equalled €728,494.00.

On 30 May 2013 Walsh was arrested. He denied that money from Mr Bond ended up in his bank account.

John Fitzgerald BL defending told Judge Pauline Codd that his client accepted the jury’s verdict and would not appeal the case.

He said Walshe, who volunteers extensively with charities, had expressed guilt and shame for what he was done and offered to pay Mr Hickey, the €181,582.00 in full. He has continued to work since he resigned from Nevinar, at a company providing support to people with complex health needs.

Walshe is married with four children, and was supported by his family and a great many friends and colleagues in court.

Mr Fitzgerald said that although Walshe came from a privileged background, his family suffered a number of tragedies, with his father dying in 1989. He and his brother then had to support their mother, who suffered from serious mental health issues. She has since passed away.

Walshe’s daughter and wife suffer from health issues, the court heard.

In a letter for support to the court, Mrs Walshe described her husband as a “wonderful and supportive husband”; an “amazing father”; and a man of “passion, honesty, trust and integrity”.

Judge Pauline Codd handed down a sentence of two and a half years in prison, with the final year suspended.

She said Walshe is also to pay Mr Hickey the €181,582.00, although Mr Hickey indicated to the court he did not wish to receive the money.

Judge Codd said that in the event he does not wish to receive the funds, he can nominate a charity to be the recipient. If he does not wish to do that, the monies will be donated to St Vincent de Paul.

Many in the packed courtroom were in tears as Walshe said his goodbyes to his distressed family.

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