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Former Vodafone executive accused of stealing almost €2m

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Niall Barron, former Vodafone head of corporate financial services

Niall Barron, former Vodafone head of corporate financial services

David McGovern

David McGovern

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Niall Barron, former Vodafone head of corporate financial services

A former Vodafone Ireland executive has been sent forward for trial accused of stealing almost €2m from the company.

Niall Barron, who had previously held the position of head of corporate financial services at the telecoms company, appeared at Dublin District Court yesterday and was served with a book of evidence by Detective Stephen Niland of the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation.

Det Gda Niland also served books of evidence on the co-defendants, married couple David and Elaine McGovern, who face charges in connection with the alleged theft of €1.25m from Vodafone Ireland.

Judge Anthony Halpin was told the DPP consented to them being tried on indictment. The three defendants said they understood when Judge Halpin told them that they must notify the prosecution if they intended to reply on alibis.

Judge Halpin noted there was no objection to bail and he made an order sending them forward for trial to the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court where they will face their next hearing on February 6.

They have not yet indicated how they will plead.

Mr Barron (40), who has an address at Ard na Cuan in Wexford town, faces charges of attempted theft and two for attempted deception; the remaining counts are split between theft of various sums totalling €1,983,000 from the company, and deception by inducing Vodafone to make payments to named business entities.

It is alleged the offences occurred at Vodafone's headquarters in Leopardstown in Co Dublin between 2003 and 2007.

David and Elaine McGovern from Burrow Manor, Calverstown, Co Kildare, are to stand trial on connected charges.

Mr McGovern, who is involved in the running of an electronics firm, is accused of the theft of sums totalling €1.25m as well as attempted theft of €68,000.

He also faces charges of deception, which allege that he tried to induce Vodafone staff to pay amounts to named business entities for his own gain. He is also accused of attempted deception and has charges under the Taxes Consolidation Act.

His wife Elaine McGovern (41) is accused of handling and possession of stolen money, sums totalling €939,741, in two bank accounts between February 2003 and August 24 2004.

She is also facing charges under the Taxes Consolidation Act for allegedly unlawfully submitting invoices which charged €81,000 in VAT.

Irish Independent