Monday 20 November 2017

Civil servant who forged overtime forms guilty of €147,000 fraud

Donal McBride
Donal McBride

Sonya McLean

A civil servant who defrauded €147,000 from the Department of Social and Family Affairs by claiming overtime he was not entitled to has been given a three-year suspended sentence.

Donal McBride (57) had been working as a higher executive officer for 10 years and had been with the department for 37 years when the fraud came to light.

He retired with a pension and has been paying 25pc of that back to the department to make full restitution.

McBride, of Cluain Dara, Easton Road, Leixlip, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to four charges of deception at Con Colbert House, Con Colbert Road, on dates between August 26, 2001, and April 6, 2007.

Fergal Foley, prosecuting, told Judge Yvonne Murphy that the charges represented a sample of 59 counts.

Detective Garda Peter Clifford told Mr Foley that the department had conducted an internal audit and discovered that McBride was the highest recipient of overtime.

Further checks were carried out and it was discovered that McBride had forged overtime claim forms.

Det Garda Clifford said McBride had "co-operated as much as he possibly could have". He said McBride had received two lump sums from the department which he paid back to them. He now owed €23,000 and was making monthly payments from his pension.

McBride will have made full restitution by the end of 2014.

The judge said in most similar cases the "money is not paid back" but acknowledged that McBride's crime represented "a serious breach of trust".

"I see no useful purpose in imposing a prison sentence. He is making very good progress and this would be severely disrupted if he went to prison," she said before she suspended the entire sentence.

Irish Independent

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