A book-keeper who stole over €600,000 from her employer has been given a two-year jail sentence.
Karina Cully (36) diverted money from the small office supplies company where she worked to her own bank account for more than seven years, at a total loss to the company of €629,000.
Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that Cully, a married mother of two children, spent the money on lifestyle expenses.
She said she was disgusted with herself and the thefts were like a habit or addiction which she was unable to stop.
Cully, of Churchfield Glen, Ashbourne, Co Meath, pleaded guilty to charges of theft, forgery and deception in relation to a mortgage application and money laundering on dates between 2014 and 2021. She has no previous convictions.
Passing sentence on Monday, Judge Martin Nolan said it was a quite simple but very efficient theft that was always going to be detected at some point. He noted there was little evidence of where Cully had spent the money.
Judge Nolan noted the mitigation was very good with early guilty pleas, full admissions and cooperation. He took into account that she was unlikely to reoffend and had a strong work record.
However, the judge said it was persistent theft from someone Cully knew very well and from a small enterprise where the person she stole from was someone she met every day. He sentenced Cully to two years imprisonment.
The prosecuting garda told John Moher BL, prosecuting, that Cully’s employer contacted her after suspicions were raised about certain payments and, following an investigation, she made full admissions to making unauthorised transfers to her personal bank account.
She told gardaí that she did not know why she had done it. She told them she had not needed the money and spent it on lifestyle expenses such as holidays or eating out.
In the course of the investigation it was also discovered that a number of documents related to a mortgage application were forged by Cully including an inflated statement of salary and a reference. She also made full admissions in relation to these offences.
A victim impact statement was handed into court on behalf of the company but was not read aloud.
Gerardine Small SC, defending, said Cully has sent an email to her former employer outlining what she had done and how disgusted she was with herself.
Cully outlined in the email that she knew what she did was morally wrong, but she was unable to stop herself. She said she sickened herself and needed help.
Ms Small handed in a number of letters speaking of Cully in positive terms and outlining the fact that she was an exemplary mother and had genuine remorse and self loathing.