Accountant jailed for theft of €80,000 from employer

Wed, Oct 31, 2012, 00:00

AN ACCOUNTANT who stole €80,000 from her employers, Snap Printing, over the course of three years has been sentenced to three years in prison.

Alix Long (35) used company cheques to pay personal bills such as a speeding ticket and music lessons for her child.

Long, The Crescent, Earl’s Court, Kill, Co Kildare, pleaded guilty to theft of €79,371.81 from Snap Printing at Baldonnel Business Park between April 28th, 2004, and January 1st, 2007.

The court heard that the directors of the company had to use their own money to keep the company going after the theft was uncovered.

Judge Martin Nolan at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court imposed a three-year term but suspended all but 16 months after taking into account her efforts to repay the money.

The judge rejected a defence application to allow Long to remain free to repay the remainder of the money.

He said that despite the strong mitigating factors, he had no choice but to impose a jail sentence. “When she stole she knew what she was doing and did so over a prolonged period of time,” the judge said.

The mother of three had previously promised to repay the stolen money with €58,000 she made from the sale of her home.

However, her defence counsel said she was forced to spend this on day-to-day living.

Garda Sgt Philip Burke told Gerardine Small, prosecuting, that Long began work as a financial accountant with the company in 2004.

In April she began making unauthorised payroll payments into her personal account.

These payments increased over time and the total amount was nearly €60,000 when she left the job in 2007. On a previous date, the court heard that during the same period she also started making out a large number of company cheques to herself or her creditors, including the motor tax office, An Bord Gáis and a BMW dealership to which she made two payments.

Nearly €20,000 was stolen in this way.