Two mothers ordered to perform community service after fraudulent applications for loans
Two mothers have been ordered to perform community service for their roles in making fraudulent applications for loans in order to pay debts while they were in financial difficulties.
Anna Kavanagh (48) was working at Provident Personal Credit, a short-term, high-risk loan company which provided loans at high interest rates to people who could not qualify for traditional loans from a bank.
Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that while working there, Kavanagh applied for loans totalling €49,000 using other people’s names on occasions between August 2009 and January 2011.
She had paid back €26,218 by the time the company became aware of the situation in September 2012. The total loss to the company was €23,500.
Her co-accused, Christine Byrne (30) admitted to being one of the people whose names Kavanagh used to obtain several loans.
Kavanagh of Crannoge Close, Poppintree, pleaded guilty to four counts of making a gain by deception and three counts of forgery at Provident Personal Credit, Ballyboggan Business Centre, Ballyboggan Road, Dublin 11 on dates between June and September 2010.
Byrne, also of Crannoge Close, pleaded guilty to six counts of forgery between February and September 2010.
Judge Melanie Greally said Kavanagh had been employed in a position of some responsibility in relation to loan applications and the advancing of funds. She said she had used that position to process loan applications for friends and family members and she used the money to pay debts.
She noted that there had been a considerable amount of the money repaid and that Kavanagh did not initially regard her actions as illegal as she was making repayments on the loans.
Judge Greally noted in relation to Byrne that she also had debts she was unable to pay and acted in an unofficial capacity in helping Kavanagh carry out her duties.
She said a probation report set out a history of adversity and financial difficulties in relation to both women. Neither woman has come to any further garda attention and both expressed remorse.
Judge Greally imposed three year sentences on each woman but suspended them in full. She ordered the women to carry out 240 hours community service in lieu of a one year sentence.
Detective Inspector Thomas Lynch told the court that Kavanagh, a mother of two, was unlikely to re-offend. “She runs a very good home for her children,” Det Insp Lynch told the court.
Michael O’Higgins SC, defending Kavanagh, said she left school at 15 years old. Since then she had been in regular employment and was known as a hard-working woman. She is separated from her husband, who suffers from problems with alcohol.
She first began applying for loans using the names of family and friends when some money needed to be repaid in relation to her husband.
All the family members and friends whose names she used were aware that she was applying for loans using their names.
Mr O'Higgins said Kavanagh, who has no previous convictions, had excelled in her job at the Access Art Centre, and had volunteered extensively at a family community centre.
Tara Burns SC, defending Byrne, told the court she was a single mother of two who had very little family support.
Her sister, who suffers from a depressive order, lived with her, and she also had an aunt, who was recently diagnosed with a serious illness.
She said that after Byrne lost the financial support of her children’s father she came into difficulty and first took out a loan. However she was then unable to make the payments on this initial loan, and so then took out others.
Christine Byrne has 28 previous convictions, all under the Road Traffic Act.