Woman charged with theft of €170,000 while acting as solicitor

Michelle O’Keeffe also accused of failing to maintain accounting records over five year period

Michelle O’Keeffe has appeared in court charged with stealing €170,830 from 11 people over a five year period when she was acting as a solicitor for them.

Michelle O’Keeffe has appeared in court charged with stealing €170,830 from 11 people over a five year period when she was acting as a solicitor for them.

 

A woman has appeared in court charged with stealing €170,830 from 11 people over a five year period when she was acting as a solicitor for them.

Michelle O’Keeffe (55), of Fionn Óir, Lahinch Road, Ennis, Co Clare appeared at Ennis District Court in relation to 19 acts of alleged theft between January, 2006 and December 22nd, 2011.

She is also charged with failing without reasonable cause to maintain accounting records on dates between January 24th, 2006 and December 22nd, 2011.

In the case, Ms O’Keeffe is alleged to have stolen €46,500 from Martin Hanley; €35,413 from Michael Cahir; €20,580 from Terence Kelly; €15,000 from Mark Scully; €22,500 from Donal Kelleher; €12,252 from James and Claire Feighery; €3,000 from Gráinne Travers; €6,590 from Billy Hamill and €8,995 from another couple.

Insp David Finnerty told the court that the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) had stated that the case can go forward on indictment to the circuit court, where a person found guilty of theft is liable to a prison term of up to 10 years.

Judge Patrick Durcan extended time for the State to produce a book of evidence in the case and Judge Durcan remanded Ms O’Keeffe on bail to appear before court again on January 16th.