Tuesday 27 September 2016

Woman stole €132k to repay earlier €91k theft

Aoife Nic Ardghail

Published 01/12/2015 | 02:30

Amy McAuley gave client her own bank details for payment
Amy McAuley gave client her own bank details for payment

A woman stole more than €132,000 from a sugar distribution firm to repay €91,113 she had taken from a previous employer to help her family, a court has heard.

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Amy McAuley (26) went to her father "distraught" after she had committed the thefts and told him she wanted to go to gardaí to admit what she had done.

Garda Jamie Nolan told Dublin Circuit Criminal Court that McAuley, who yesterday received a two-year suspended sentence, has since worked a second job and has so far raised €20,000 to pay back the sugar distributor.

McAuley, of Ledwith Hall, Slane, Co Meath, pleaded guilty to stealing €132,355 from Nordzucker Ireland Ltd, with an address at Arena House, Sandyford Industrial Estate, Dublin, on three dates between July 23, 2013, and February 26, 2014.

She has no previous convictions.

Gda Nolan told Derek Cooney BL, prosecuting, that McAuley had been covering maternity leave as credit controller when she emailed one of Nordzucker's clients with her own bank details. She informed the client that this was the sugar distributor's new bank account.

Once this client lodged money into the new account, McAuley emailed a few weeks later to say Nordzucker had reverted back to the previous bank details. She repeated this process with the client the following year.

McAuley left the job soon after.

Gda Nolan said McAuley later went to her father and tried to explain what she had done.

She wrote down the amounts she had stolen, showed this to her father and then contacted the company's chief executive.

Her father met with the CEO in March 2014 and transferred €10,000 that was left in McAuley's bank account to Nordzucker.

McAuley told gardaí that she had used some of Nordzucker's money to pay back €91,113 she had taken from a previous employer.

Gda Nolan agreed with Kathleen Leader BL, defending, that her client had used the previous employer's funds to help her mother and father, whose business had gone bust.

Distraught

He further agreed McAuley has always appeared "distraught and upset" and puts aside €1,000 per month from a second job to go towards the €122,355 still owed to Nordzucker.

Ms Leader submitted to Judge Patrick McCartan that McAuley had not been taking medication prescribed to her at the time she carried out the offences.

She submitted that her client had her own difficulties and asked the judge to give her the opportunity to repay the owed amount as "she lives every day with what she did".

Ms Leader told the court that McAuley has raised money for charity and had also started on a programme helping sick children.

Judge McCartan noted that the crimes were serious and that there had been repeat offending.

However, he added that McAuley was a "talented young individual, leaving aside misjudgements". The judge said he was impressed by McAuley's willingness to repay the money.

Judge McCartan suspended the sentence for 10 years and told McAuley that the case wouldn't trouble her anymore if she continued with her repayments.

Irish Independent

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