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Mum's cheques fraud 'to fund high lifestyle'

A mother-of-two has been jailed for a year for defrauding €103,000 from Bank of Ireland over a five-year period.

Former BOI employee Susan Dowling (37) made bogus expenses claims on behalf of companies such as Mercer Ltd and lodged the cheques into her personal bank account and credit card account.

Judge Katherine Delahunt noted she had since lost her job and her home but said she had to punish Dowling's "wholesale deception". She sentenced her to 12 months on each count to run concurrently with each other.

"There was no excuse or desperation for funds, it was simply to lead a high lifestyle," Judge Delahunt commented.


Dowling forged two bosses' signatures on up to 70 requisition forms for amounts up to £3,441, and sometimes cashed these amounts directly at BOI Baggot Street headquarters.

Bank staff became suspicious when Dowling sent them a company cheque to lodge into her credit card account with an attached compliments slip saying "personal bonus" and an internal audit uncovered the scale of her offending.

Garda Niall O'Meara said Dowling had described falling in with a "swish" peer group through her job, developing a serious cocaine addiction and mounting up debts with a regular cocaine supplier.

Dowling, of The Park, Wolstan Haven, Celbridge, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to 70 counts of defrauding cheques.