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Mum used stolen cash to pay for BMW

AN accountant stole €80,000 from her employers over three years by diverting funds into her personal account and stealing company cheques.

Alix Long (33) used company cheques to pay personal bills such as a speeding ticket and music lessons for her child.

The court heard the directors of Snap Printing had to use their own money to keep the company going after the theft was uncovered.

Long will be sentenced next November at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

The mother-of -three had previously promised to repay the stolen money with €58,000 she made from the sale of her home. However her defence counsel said she was forced to spend this on day-to-day living.

Long, of The Crescent, Earls Court, Kill, Co Kildare, pleaded guilty to theft of €79,371.81 from Snap Printing at Baldonnell Industrial Estate between April 28, 2004 and January 1, 2007.

Sergeant Philip Burke told prosecuting counsel Fiona Murphy that Long began work as a financial accountant with the company in 2004.

In April, she began making unauthorised payroll payments into her personal account.



MOTOR

They increased over time and the total was nearly €60,000 when she left the job in 2007.

During the same period she also started making out a large number of company cheques to herself or her creditors including the Motor Tax Office, Board Gais and two payments to a BMW dealership. Nearly €20,000 was stolen in this way.

The thefts came to light after Long left the company and was replaced by another accountant who noticed "a litany of mistakes" in the accounts. The new accountant reported them to the company who alerted gardai. Long was arrested and interviewed in March 2007. She made full admissions but was shocked when told the amount she had stolen.

Defence counsel John Byrne said Long made €58,000 from the sale of her home but had to use this for day-to-day living. He said she had put €10,000 aside as compensation and also had another €9,450 in court.

He submitted that Long had fallen into financial difficulties when she got married in 2004 and had started stealing around that time. The thefts stopped shortly after she began a relationship with her current partner with whom she now lives.

Mr Byrne said his client hoped to have more compensation when the case is next before the court. Long was remanded on continuing bail.

hnews@herald.ie


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