Saturday 24 March 2018

Mum of three stole €125,000 from employer to pay tax bill

Nicola Donnelly and Conor Gallagher

A MOTHER of three who stole €125,000 from her employer in order to pay the taxman has been jailed for two years.

At Dublin Circuit Criminal Court yesterday, Cheryl Byrne (34) admitted to sample counts of stealing a total of €125,000 from David Curran and Dave Curran Design.

The thefts occurred over a two-and-a-half-year period, between 2005 and 2007, while Byrne worked as a bookkeeper at the company.

The firm employed seven people and she hid the thefts by entering random transactions for sundry supplies in the account books.

Judge Martin Nolan said yesterday it was unfortunate that he had to impose a jail sentence but added that Byrne had "committed a very serious breach of trust" and "embezzled a lot of money".

He that noted that Byrne's victim, David Curran, ran a small business and the "loss of that revenue might have had very serious long-term consequences". Martina Baxter, defending, submitted that "neither Ms Byrne or society or her three children would benefit from a prison sentence".

Garda Detective Neville McCormack said that there was no accumulation of wealth at the home of Byrne.

"She admitted she was way over her head in debt and she was not a criminal mastermind as she was found out," he said.

The court was told that Byrne, who is married with three children, has a mortgage debt of over €30,000 and had "robbed Peter to pay Paul".

Det McCormack agreed with Ms Baxter that Byrne had her 'head in the sand' over stealing the money.

Byrne, of the Woods, Rathdrum, Co Wicklow, had assisted gardai with the "complex" investigation but she is not in a position to repay the money.

Judge Nolan said the accused "does not seem to have dealt with the issue with a great deal of seriousness".

"It seems the Revenue Commissioners have never had such a loyal customer," he added.

Irish Independent

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