Dundalk woman jailed for six months for €27,500 bank fraud
This happened over a period of nineteen months.
A former Revenue Commissioners office worker who admitted stealing more than £27,500 to feed her cocaine addiction, has been jailed for six months at Dundalk Circuit Court.
Judge Dara Hayes heard that Teresa Delduca (33) of Greenacres, Dundalk diverted the money to her bank account between September 2016 and May 2018, using the taxpayers’ names, but no one was at personal loss or at aware of what had happened.
Following an internal investigation, a branch manager of the Revenue Commissioners lodged a formal complaint at Dundalk Garda station on September 16e 2019.
The court heard that the defendant diverted €27,565.22 through Revenue’s computer system to her own account at the Permanent TSB in Dundalk and that the fraud was discovered after she returned to work after being on sick leave between the April 23rd 2018 and April 15e 2019.
The payments, whose amounts varied, were made under the guise of reimbursement through tax credits to people whose bank details on the tax office’s computer system had been changed by the office worker. They have been presented as health benefits, tax credits for a parent and as part of an EC scheme.
The court heard Ms Delduca – who showed up voluntarily at Dundalk Garda station, made a full confession and was removed from the District Court after signing guilty pleas to 31 counts of theft.
She lost her job at Revenue but worked in the family takeaway business and had repaid €2,250 and was paying back €100 a week.
Defense attorney Vincent Heneghan SC said while his client spent some of the money on personal items like clothing, most of that money was spent on drugs, not just cocaine for herself, but for a group of peers who “”benefited from the money”.
The court heard that €7,000 of the stolen money had been diverted to the account of another person – who has not been charged and is also refunding that money.
The accused had not come to the attention of Garda before or since for such an offense, but she had a number of convictions in road traffic cases – including two related to drunk driving.
Mr Heneghan pointed out that even before his client appeared in court, she was aware of her difficulties and had undergone a residential treatment program in Waterford in May 2019.
Judge Hayes described it as an elaborate fraud, but said he accepted that Ms Delduca’s remorse was genuine and noted that the defendant had not used cocaine since last October and attended Narcotics meetings Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous.
He imposed a two-and-a-half-year sentence with the final two years suspended on the defendant who took out a good behavior bond, placing herself under the supervision of the probation service for a year after her release and on condition that it reimburses the balance of the sums. due within five years.