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walks free Revenue worker who was 'vital cog' in ex-boyfriend's tax scam gets suspended sentence

Linda Kinsella (38) generated payments totalling over €8,000 based on false tax returns

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Linda Kinsella (38)  Pic Collins Courts

Linda Kinsella (38) Pic Collins Courts

Linda Kinsella (38) Pic Collins Courts

A former Revenue employee who used her position to provide fraudulent payments for twin brothers has received a fully suspended sentence.

Linda Kinsella (38) generated payments totalling over €8,000 based on false tax returns for her former boyfriend Eric Maher (37) and his twin brother Brian Maher (37).

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that Kinsella lost her job as a result of the offending and that both brothers have since repaid the money in full.

Kinsella of Citywest Golfing Apartments, Citywest, Dublin pleaded guilty to two counts of dishonestly inducing a gain by deception and one count of using a false instrument at Revenue offices, Belgard Road, Dublin 24, on dates between December 2, 2013 and June 7, 2015.

Eric Maher of Collins Avenue, Whitehall, pleaded guilty to stealing the property of the Revenue Commission at AIB, Cabra Road, on December 20, 2013.

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Linda Kinsella

Linda Kinsella

Linda Kinsella

Brain Maher also of Collins Avenue, Whitehall, pleaded guilty to three counts of stealing the property of the Revenue Commission at Ulster Bank, Charlestown Shopping Centre, Finglas, on dates between June 4, 2014 and October 23, 2014.

Kinsella and Eric Maher have no previous convictions, while Brian Maher has four previous convictions for dangerous driving, drink driving and public order offences.

Passing sentence today, Judge Martin Nolan said the “vital cog” in this offending was Kinsella.

Judge Nolan said the money was paid due to the false situation in the system created by Kinsella.

He said that it seems both men had “imposed upon her” to some degree.

The judge said the amounts involved were “comparatively small”.

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He said the three accused were unlikely to reoffend to this degree in the future.

Judge Nolan sentenced Kinsella, Eric Maher and Brian Maher to 18 months imprisonment, but suspended all of the sentences in their entirety on strict conditions.

Detective Garda Kevin Bowen told Fiona Crawford BL, prosecuting, that Revenue conducted an investigation into the matter after receiving information from a “good citizen report”.

Det Gda Bowen said Kinsella was doctoring tax return forms for both Mahers, generating additional payments to them which were fraudulent.

Eric Maher put in claims for three refunds, two for work for a company he was never employed by and one for work for a company he was once employed by, but not during the period stated.

He received a total of €1,921.95 as a result.

Brian Maher made similar tax refund claims for work for companies he had previously been employed by, but not at the stated time on the tax refund. He received a total of €6,121.45 as a result.

In interview with gardaí, Kinsella admitted to the offences. She said the Mahers had asked her to do this as they were stuck for money.

Det Gda Bowen agreed with Kieran Kelly BL, defending Kinsella, that his client did not personally gain from the offending.

Mr Kelly said it seems those “near and dear” to his client were under pressure and she used her position. He said the offending took place over a short duration as it represented a number of false back claims.

Counsel said his client had worked at Revenue for 18 years and lost her job due to her “foolish actions”.

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Linda Kinsella. Pic Collins Courts

Linda Kinsella. Pic Collins Courts

Linda Kinsella. Pic Collins Courts

The detective agreed with John Griffin BL, defending Eric Maher, that there was nothing sophisticated about his client's offending as the money was lodged in an account bearing his own name and was therefore easy for gardaí to track.

Mr Griffin said his client needed money at the time for a trip to Australia. He said his client has since paid back the full amount including penalties to Revenue.

Det Gda Bowen agreed with Stephen Montgomery BL, defending Brian Maher, that his client does not move in “circles of criminality” and has not come to garda attention since this offending.

Mr Montgomery said at the time of the offending, his client had lost control of his finances following the birth of a child and instructs he had gambling debts. He said his client has since addressed his gambling problems.

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