Financial controller jailed for robbing money has sentence cut on appeal

Financial controller jailed for robbing money has sentence cut on appeal

A financial controller jailed for stealing €281,000 from his employer, Deutsche Bank, through the unauthorised use of his company credit card, has had his jail term cut on appeal.

Patrick Moran (40), of Woodstown Rise, Knocklyon, had pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to sample charges of stealing cash, falsifying documents and using a false instrument on dates between November 2011 and January 2013. 

He was sentenced to three years imprisonment by Judge Martin Nolan on July 31, 2015.

Moran successfully appealed his sentence today and accordingly he was resentenced to three years imprisonment with the final 12 months suspended.

Giving judgment in the Court of Appeal, Mr Justice Alan Mahon said Moran was a financial controller with Deutcshe Bank when he falsified company records and submitted records to AIB increasing the company credit card limit.

Mr Justice Mahon said Moran diverted funds to a Paypal account and ultimately to his own account. The loss to the injured party was approximately €281,000.

The fraudulent activity was unearthed by an internal investigation and when gardaí were contacted Moran made full admissions.

His barrister, Patrick Gageby SC, submitted criticism for the sentencing judge's failure to suspend a portion of the sentence.

Mr Gageby said his client had never offended before in any sphere of life and there was amply evidence before the Circuit Court that there had been "de facto rehabilitation".

Mr Gageby said Moran's employer's were out of pocket to a substantial amount but there was no "stash" or hidden money. 

The court heard that there was a civil judgment against him plus costs.

Counsel for the Director of Public Prosecutions, Fergal Foley BL, submitted that the reliability of Ireland as a place to do business was challenged by this type of offending and the sentence that was imposed was the least the judge could have done in all the circumstances.

In his sentencing judgment, the Circuit Court judge emphasised Moran's position of authority in the bank and noted that he had breached trust.

The Circuit Court judge also remarked that one of the mitigating factors in the case was the fact that Moran had rendered himself unemployable in his chosen career.

Mr Justice Mahon said Moran was married with a young child. He had no previous convictions and suffered from depression for which he continues to receive treatment.

The Court of Appeal found there had been an error in principle to a limited extent. While the three year headline sentence was within the range available and was appropriate, some portion of the sentence ought to have been suspended particularly to incentivise rehabilitation, for the plea of guilty and the fact Moran was a first time offender.

Mr Justice Mahon, who sat with Mr Justice George Birmingham and Mr Justice Garrett Sheehan, quashed the original sentence and imposed a new term of three years imprisonment with the final 12 months suspended.

He was required to enter into a good behaviour bond and when asked if he undertook to be so bound he said “yes, I do”.