Carer unlawfully took more than €150,000 from elderly couple, court told

Woman said she sent funds to a US soldier whom she met on Facebook

The couple secured a temporary High Court freezing order preventing Angela Manning from dissipating her assets below a value of €150,000. Photograph: Chris Maddaloni/Collins

The couple secured a temporary High Court freezing order preventing Angela Manning from dissipating her assets below a value of €150,000. Photograph: Chris Maddaloni/Collins

 

An elderly and vulnerable south Dublin couple had more than €150,000 unlawfully taken from their bank account by a woman they hired to be their carer, the High Court has heard.

In what was described as “a bizarre case” involving an alleged “breach of trust” Laetitia and Enda O’Regan secured a temporary High Court freezing order preventing Angela Manning from dissipating her assets below a value of €150,000.

The court heard that Ms Manning confessed to taking the couple’s money, which she claims she converted to cryptocurrency.

She then sent the money to an American solider she met on social media, who needed money to help pay for his daughter’s medical care.

The freezing order was sought over fears that Ms Manning may seek to dissipate assets beyond the reach of the plaintiffs.

Brian Murray, for the O’Regans, told the court that without any explanation significant sums of the couple’s money also appears to have been spent by Ms Manning on her home at Kingston Walk, Ballinteer, Co Dublin, as well as at a toy store, in supermarkets and at various pharmacies.

A complaint has been made to the gardaí, said counsel.

The couple, from the Laurels, Terenure in Dublin 6W, do not know what Ms Manning has done with all of their cash, and are concerned as they require funds for their care.

At the High Court on Friday Mr Justice Mark Sanfey made orders including a temporary injunction, known as a Mareva order, freezing Ms Manning’s assets.

Ms Manning was hired directly by his clients in early 2020. The couple are aged in their late 70s and have significant health problems, said counsel.

Counsel said that the O’Regans gave Ms Manning, who was paid between €350 and €300 a week, their debit card to buy items including groceries for them.

The O’Regans had more than €150,000 in their account in early 2020 when Ms Manning started working for them.

When the couple discovered what was happening in mid-2021 their account had been reduced to a balance of just €7.33

When confronted about the missing funds, Ms Manning said she had “met a US soldier on Facebook” who she said she “might be in love with” and who “had a young daughter with cancer”.

Ms Manning told Ms O’Regan she was using the funds to buy cryptocurrency for those with whom she was interacting on Facebook.

Following Ms Manning’s admission, Ms O’Regan made a complaint to the gardaí.

The court heard that Ms Manning’s husband, who had offered to repay “every cent” of the monies taken made contact with the O’Regan’s solicitor.

Andrew Manning told the solicitor that his wife had converted some €57,000 of his monies into Bitcoin.

However, contact ceased between the solicitor and Mr Manning after he said he had been advised, due to an ongoing Garda investigation, not to speak to the O’Regan’s lawyers.