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Sunday 25 August 2019

Credit union worker stole €395,000 from accounts over 10 years

Susan Redmond admitted 10 sample charges of stealing
Susan Redmond admitted 10 sample charges of stealing

A Dublin mother who stole up to €395,000 over a decade from a credit union will be sentenced in April.

The court heard Susan Redmond (49) had worked at Larkhill and District Credit Union in Dublin for 20 years and began taking out false loans on members' accounts in 2003.

Redmond completed and signed loan applications and then issued cheques, which she cashed.

Detective Garda Dominic McGrath revealed Redmond's colleagues noticed irregularities while she was on holiday.

Redmond, of Thornville Drive, Kilbarrack, Dublin, affirmed signed guilty pleas at Dublin Circuit Court to 10 sample charges of stealing from the credit union on dates from July 3, 2003, to April 26, 2013.

Det Gda McGrath said this sample represented 102 theft charges. He told Barry Ward BL, prosecuting, the 40 account holders affected by Redmond's thefts were her friends and family and that they were all reimbursed by the credit union.

He said none of the account holders made statements to gardai as they were not "forthcoming with information".

The detective said investigators were able to see money moving in and out of Redmond's bank account over the period.

He said in some instances she was taking out more false loans to pay back previous false loans.

The detective agreed with Justin McQuade BL, defending, that this was an "unsophisticated" fraud and Redmond had nothing to show for it.

He further agreed Redmond had lost a job she took up after leaving the credit union because of publicity while the case was in the District Court.

Det Gda McGrath said "luck had a part to play" as previous audits at the credit union had not been carried out on the accounts Redmond was using.

He told Judge Melanie Greally he didn't believe any of the account holders affected had been complicit. He said investigators could not find any purchases such as a car, holidays or expensive jewellery.

He said Redmond told gardai she couldn't put a finger on one large purchase, with the money going on day-to-day things.

Redmond's sister, Collette Clarke, told Mr McQuade their family was close-knit and that she saw "no huge warning signs". Ms Clarke said she noticed Redmond buying clothes and spending on hair and makeup, but thought these were going on credit cards or coming out of a loan.

She told the judge her own account was among those affected. She said Redmond had issued a false loan of €20,000 without her knowledge just before the fraud came to light.

Compulsive

Michael Dempsey, a clinical psychologist, told Mr McQuade Redmond was a vulnerable woman who "fit the criteria for compulsive buying disorder" and was "severely depressed".

He added her son was very dependent on her and that she had been in difficult romantic relationships.

Mr McQuade said Redmond had €20,000 in court as a token of remorse. He asked the judge to take into account his client's lack of previous convictions, her high level of co-operation and her personal circumstances.

The case was adjourned so Redmond can be assessed by the Probation Service. The judge remanded Redmond on continuing bail until April.

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