Thursday 19 September 2019

PA stole €1m from barristers, gets four years' jail

Stock picture: Getty
Stock picture: Getty

Fiona Ferguson

A personal assistant who stole more than €1m from her employers over a 14-year period has been jailed for four years.

Siobhán Maguire (47) stole the money by fraudulently lodging her employers' cheques to her personal bank account.

Her lawyers told Dublin Circuit Criminal Court that she "dissipated" the money over the years on paying her mortgage, going on holidays and supporting her children.

Maguire, of The Brambles, Skerries, Dublin, pleaded guilty to 32 sample theft and fraud charges related to lodgement of 660 cheques to her bank account on dates between 2001 and 2015.

She had been sent forward to the Circuit Criminal Court for sentencing on the offences after entering signed guilty pleas in the District Court. Maguire has no previous convictions.

The total theft involved amounted to €1,187,616.

Maguire's former employers - barristers Michael Delaney and Jeremy Maher - have been partially reimbursed by banks and did not wish to make victim impact statements.

The total outstanding loss is now approximately €325,000.

Garda Stephen Faulkner told Maurice Coffey, prosecuting counsel, that Maguire worked as a shared secretary and personal assistant to two professional people at offices in Church Street, Dublin and began employment there in May 2001.

He said part of her role, over the 14 years of her employment, was to lodge cheques into the business accounts of the two men.

Judge Patricia Ryan noted testimonials and letters handed in from family and friends.

She said she was taking into account the letters from Maguire's children, who were of a young age and not financially independent.

She said the aggravating circumstances of the case included the serious nature of the charge, the amount of money involved, the long period over which the offences were committed and the breach of trust.

The judge noted that the prosecuting garda was of the view Maguire would not re-offend.

It was noted in mitigation that Maguire had entered an early guilty plea, which was of value to the State, that she had made full admissions, had no previous convictions and had displayed remorse, which the prosecution accepted was genuine.

Judge Ryan imposed four years' imprisonment on each count to run concurrently.

Irish Independent

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