Thursday 18 January 2018

Man (46) stole almost €1m from employer to feed alcohol and gambling addiction

Conrad Mason (46) of Elm Mount Close, Beaumont, Dublin pictured at the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court at a previous hearing. Pic Collins Courts.
Conrad Mason (46) of Elm Mount Close, Beaumont, Dublin pictured at the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court at a previous hearing. Pic Collins Courts.

Jessica Magee and Sonya McLean

A former company director who stole almost a million euro from his employer over six years to feed his alcoholism and gambling addiction has been given a partially suspended sentence of three years in prison.

Conrad Mason (46) stole a total of €908,652 from David Dixon of cleaning specialists C&G Logistics Group, on dates between January 2010 and January 2015.

Mason pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to 25 sample counts of theft and fraud representing a total of 234 wrongful transactions from the company account to his own various bank accounts.

Mason of Elm Mount Close, Beaumont, Dublin worked for C&G as company accountant since August 1997 and was promoted to the position of director in 2004.

The court heard that C&G Logistics Group comprises two related companies involved in the warehousing, transport and pumping over of hazardous and non-hazardous chemicals for the agriculture and water treatment sectors.

Judge Karen O'Connor said the crimes “represented a significant breach of trust as Mason was a trusted member of staff”and had a profound impact on Mr Dixon and the company.

“There is no question of the money being reimbursed and the company suffered a major blow to its cash reserves,” the judge said before she added that the management team now spend much of their time “picking up the pieces left behind”.

Judge O'Connor said Mason has now “lost everything, his reputation, his relationship with his wife and has suffered financially”.

She suspended the final 18 months of the three year term having taking into account the fact that Mason has no previous convictions and co-operated with the garda investigation.

Detective Sergeant Margaret Morrell told the court that between August 2014 and July 2015, Mason had transferred over €250,000 from the company to two accounts in his name at Bank of Ireland, College Green and Ulster Bank in Ballsbridge.

When this emerged Mr Dixon contacted Mason’s wife who was shocked and surprised and told him that her husband had had a gambling problem for years.

Mason phoned his boss from hospital and came clean, saying he had been taking funds from the company over the past five or six years, and that he had gambled it with Paddy Power, primarily in online slot machines.

Mr Dixon told gardaí that his company was “suffering on a day-to-day basis”, and that on a personal note, his trust and faith in people had been “totally undermined and diminished”.

Michael Bowman SC, defending Mason, described him as a “self-made man” who had left school after the Leaving Cert and worked his way up with no formal qualifications to become “highly-esteemed” at work.

His said Mason’s motivation was a “deep-seated addiction” and not a “get rich quick scheme” and that he did not exhibit the trappings of an ostentatious lifestyle or material wealth.

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