IBRC employee stole over €2,000 from clients in mortgage arears

Shane O'Brien
Shane O'Brien

A Westmeath resident who alerted his employers to the fact that he had stolen over €2,000 from clients who were in mortgage arrears has avoided a jail term.

Shane O'Brien (29) was working in the early arrears team in IBRC when he took cash payments from four clients and pocketed it himself rather than passing it on to be off set against their mortgages.

O'Brien of Killucan Manor Drive, Rathwire, Killucan pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to theft from IBRC on dates between November 2011 and July 2013. He has no previous convictions and has not come to garda attention since.

Judge Martin Nolan imposed a one year suspended sentence on condition that O'Brien repay IBRC the total €2,886 he stole within a month.

He said O'Brien took the money because he felt he was in great need for it at the time and it was inevitable he was going to get caught.

He accepted that he made a full confession both to his employers and the gardaí and that he has never been in trouble before or since.

“It is a source of great regret that a man such as him should commit such a crime,” Judge Nolan said.

Garda Daragh Kenny told Garrett McCormack BL, prosecuting, that O'Brien had been responsible for dealing with clients that were less than six months behind in their mortgage repayments.

He said in November 2011 and three times in July 2012, O'Brien took payments from certain clients and although he provided them with a receipt he didn't pass on the cash to be offset against their mortgage.

Gda Kenny said he was contacted after O'Brien himself alerted his superiors to the thefts. He came voluntarily to the garda station and made a complete confession.

He said around the same time the customers noticed that their balance had not been reduced as it should have been and contacted the bank.

James Dwyer BL, defending, handed in a psychologist report into the court that was not read out.

He said his client was having trouble in his relationship at the time and confirmed that his contract with IBRC was not renewed after the offences came to light.

Mr Dwyer said his client has since secured a new position with a different bank and is in a position to repay IBRC.