Gardaí investigating €400k theft from credit union
Individual who is understood to be responsible for loss of the money has accepted their role in theft
GARDAI are investigating the theft of €400,000 from a Co Cork credit union.
Fermoy-based Synergy Credit Union insists all the money taken from members’ accounts has been returned and the person responsible for the theft is co-operating with an investigation.
It comes months after Rush Credit Union in Co Dublin was shut down after a series of fraudulent activities were discovered.
Chief executive of Synergy Martina Cotter confirmed in a statement that it had discovered “irregularities on a small number of member accounts” last September.
Accountancy consultancy Grant Thornton was commissioned to undertake an investigation.
Ms Cotter said: “The credit union also informed all relevant authorities as soon as the matter came to light, including An Garda Siochána, and all appropriate steps were taken to resolve the matter swiftly.”
She said the internal probe by the credit union has now finished and affected accounts have been replenished to their correct balance.
“The credit union is insured to deal with such matters and no member’s savings were lost,” she added.
The 16,200 members of the Co Cork lender are due to attend its annual general meeting next Thursday, a meeting that is now expected to be a stormy affair.
It is understood that the theft amounts to €407,442, with the credit union having to spend another €160,00 on the probe of the money that went missing.
Some 29 accounts had money taken from them without the authorisation of the members.
The individual who is understood to be responsible for the loss of the money has accepted their role in it.
Ms Cotter said: “We cannot comment in any greater detail on this matter, except to say that an individual has accepted responsibility, co-operated with the investigation in full and is no longer employed by the credit union.”
The CEO of the credit union reassured members that their savings are safe and secure and continue to be protected by the Government Deposit Guarantee Scheme.
She stressed that Synergy Credit Union has a very strong balance sheet with reserves in excess of 14pc, which is above what is required by the Central Bank. Membership continues to grow and now stands at over 16, 200.
The credit union continues to operate as normal.