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Bank teller skimmed cards for ATM theft

A Bank of Ireland cashier who used an illegal magnetic data skimmer -- leading to almost €320,000 being taken from 87 customer accounts -- has been given a suspended sentence.

Darren McComiskey (24), Thornville Road, Kilbarrack, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to stealing the account details and PIN numbers from customers he served during his employment at the bank's College Green branch.

Detective Sergeant Paul Curtis said McComiskey passed on the account details to two eastern European men who took a total of €319,641 from the 87 accounts.

The fraudulent transactions took place between October 31, 2006, and February 14, 2007, and came to light when customers reported that unauthorised sums of money had been taken from their accounts.

Det Sgt Curtis told prosecuting counsel, Karen O'Connor, that when an internal investigation revealed all the customers affected had been served by McComiskey, the case was reported to the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation.

McComiskey then admitted his criminal activity in a series of interviews. An electronic skimmer, along with a bag containing €3,500, were recovered in McComiskey's bedroom during a garda search of his home.

Det Garda Curtis said customers wishing to withdraw money had handed their cards to McComiskey who swiped them twice -- once through the bank's legitimate computer software and once through his own machine which recorded their account information. He also jotted down the PIN numbers into a note pad.

Judge Martin Nolan said McComiskey was a weak, easily-led individual and this was his first offence. He imposed a three-year sentence which he suspended for five years.