Monday 24 July 2017

Xtravision manager who tapped into customer's dormant accounts and stole over €10k avoids jail

The Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin
The Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin

Sonya McLean

A manager at Xtravision who tapped into customer's dormant accounts and stole over €10,000 by giving himself the credit that was owed by them has avoided a jail term.

Noel Carroll (27) took the credit by creating a gift card for that amount that he could later deposit in a savings account and withdraw as cash. He also issued himself vouchers which he used to buy various items including a television, laptop and computer in different Xtravision branches.

Detective Garda Finola Heeney told Diarmuid Collins BL, prosecuting, that Carroll was caught when an auditor for the company noticed that a number of refunds from dormant accounts had been grouped together in batches, which was considered an unusual practice.

Further investigation showed that Carroll processed each of the transactions. It was initially thought that he had stolen just under €2,000 but following a more thorough investigation, the company discovered that €10,025 had been taken from the various accounts.

Carroll of Graham Court, Ballyherrin, Wicklow town, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to theft at various branches of Xtravision on dates between December 15, 2013 and June 10, 2015.

The married father of two has no previous convictions. He has since repaid the company in full with the help of a loan from his parents.

Judge Cormac Quinn said Carroll had taped into these accounts and refunded the cash for his own use. He said it was a”serious breach of trust” but acknowledged that he made full admissions and was previously of good character.

He sentenced Carroll to 18 months in prison which he suspended in full on strict conditions after noting that a probation report put him at a low risk of re-offending.

Det Gda Heeney said the credits on the customers' accounts were usually due to people putting down a small deposit of about €5 to reserve a game which they never returned to purchase.

Carroll told gardaí in interview that he came across a customer credit report one day in work and a short while later came up with an idea of how he might take the money. He said he knew the accounts were dormant as they had been inactive for a long time.

He said he was “tight for money” at the time and used it to pay his rent or buy petrol. He admitted that he used the store credit to get things he didn't need.

Det Gda Heeney said Carroll had forfeited his last wage with the company and had been paying back €50 per week before Xtravision went into liquidation. His father then gave him the balance of €8,245 as a loan to fully re-reimburse the company.

Carroll's father told Karl Monahan BL, defending that his son has an “awful lot of shame, is withdrawn, quiet and depressed” since the crime came to light.

He described his behaviour as totally out of character and said Carroll had previously worked as an assistant manager in his own petrol station without any difficulties.

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