Bank worker who stole €100k to fund gambling addiction spared jail term

A young bank worker who stole €100,000 from a Kildare branch of AIB has been spared a jail term.

Conor Egan (27) would take the money from AIB and walk across the road to Bank of Ireland where he lodged it into an account. He would then transfer it into various online bookmakers’ accounts and gamble it away.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard Egan’s father, a retired Colonel in the defence forces, has agreed to repay AIB in full using his retirement package and that Egan will in turn repay him.

Judge Patricia Ryan noted the premeditated nature of the thefts and the breach of trust involved. She also took into account Egan’s previous good character and his efforts to repay the money. She imposed a four year sentence suspended in full for four years.

Egan of Kilmacredock, Maynooth in Kildare pleaded guilty to theft of €100,000 from AIB, Main Street, Leixlip between January and November 2010.

Detective Garda Siobhan Moore told prosecuting counsel Colm O’Briain BL that AIB auditors confirmed the missing money in January 2011. Egan, who was 23 at the time, was confronted by senior management and admitted everything.

Egan used the money to fund his “chronic gambling addiction”. All the stolen cash would be used on online gambling sites or in bookies around the town. He would go to different bookmakers to hide the extent of his gambling and would sometimes go without a meal so he could put on a bet.

The amounts stolen varied between €100 and €1000. The thefts eventually came to light when Egan took a day’s annual leave and a colleague noticed the missing money.

When this colleague rang Egan and asked him about it, he suggested it might be in a safe. However staff could not access the safe as Egan had earlier taken the key.

The court heard he falsified documents to hide the thefts and didn’t take a single day’s leave while they were going on because they would have been noticed by a person taking over his duties.

Defence counsel Ronan Kennedy BL said that no customer accounts were affected and that when he was caught, Egan promised to repay all the money.

He said he signed a confession straight away and that “his fate was effectively sealed from that point.”

Counsel said that, aside from gambling, Egan wasn’t spending the money on himself and didn’t have a lavish lifestyle.

Mr Kennedy said he came from a very decent and respected family and that Egan’s father has agreed to repay the bank and that Egan will repay him over time.

After being caught Egan went on to complete a degree in NUI Maynooth and is now in full time employment again after “obviously” being fired by AIB.

Counsel added that Egan is now receiving help from several sources for his gambling addiction and that he hasn’t put a bet on since 2010.

— Conor Gallagher

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