herald

Wednesday 15 August 2018

Man accused of €900k theft at credit union

AN UNEMPLOYED man has appeared in court charged with stealing more than €900,000 from a credit union over the last decade.

Paul O'Brien (50) allegedly stole small amounts of money, ranging from the smallest amount of €100 to over €40,000 on dates between 2005 and January 2014.

He is also accused of falsifying documents for loan applications for a number of named individuals.

Judge David McHugh remanded Mr O'Brien on bail after he was told detectives had no objection to bail, subject to a number of conditions.

Mr O'Brien is facing trial in the Circuit Court on the charges.

Judge McHugh adjourned the matters to a date in December for the service of the book of evidence.

The accused, with an address at Valley Park Road in Finglas, appeared before Blanchardstown District Court charged with 136 counts of theft and falsifying loan documents.

The thefts, contrary to the theft and fraud offences act, allegedly took place at Finglas Credit Union, Seamus Ennis Road in Finglas between February 2005 and January 2014.

The combined total of the thefts allegedly amounts to more than €940,000.

It is alleged that Mr O'Brien stole sums of money, ranging from the smallest amount of €100 on February 26, 2005 to the largest sum of €44,000 on May 31, 2011.

Offences

Detective Garda Lisa Sheehan told Blanchardstown court that she met Mr O'Brien by appointment at Finglas Garda Station on Friday morning and charged him with the offences.

Gda Sheehan said Mr O'Brien was handed a true copy of each charge sheet and he made no reply to the charges after caution.

Defence solicitor Fiona Brennan said the charging of Mr O'Brien had been "a consultative process" and she said she did not require the individual charge sheet numbers to be read out in court.

Gda Sheehan said she had no objection to bail, subject to a number of conditions.

Judge McHugh remanded Mr O'Brien on bail in his own bond of €100.

As part of his bail conditions, he must surrender his passport to gardai within 48 hours.

He is also to notify gardai of any change of address.

The court heard that Mr O'Brien is unemployed and on social welfare, and Ms Brennan was assigned on free legal aid.

Gda Sheehan said that the DPP has directed trial on indictment in the Circuit Court on the charges, where the penalties upon conviction are potentially more severe.

Ms Brennan said there was consent to a long adjournment for the book of evidence.

Judge McHugh adjourned the matter to December for the book of evidence.

Mr O'Brien, who was wearing grey slacks, a shirt and dark jumper, did not address the court during the short hearing.

hnews@herald.ie

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