Further arrests in alleged €1 million theft from major accountancy firm

Fourth suspect arrested by fraud gardaí on Tuesday

Gardaí investigating the alleged theft of over €1 million by an employee of a major Irish accountancy and auditing firm have arrested two more men. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Gardaí investigating the alleged theft of over €1 million by an employee of a major Irish accountancy and auditing firm have arrested two more men. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

 

Gardaí investigating the alleged theft of over €1 million by an employee of a major Irish accountancy and auditing firm have arrested two more men.

The suspects, aged in their 30s and 60s, were detained by gardaí from the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau (GNECB) on Tuesday for offences contrary to Section 5 of Criminal Justice (Corruption Offences) Act 2018.

They are suspected of corruptly giving or receiving bribes in return for illegal practices.

The men are being interviewed in Waterford Garda Station where they can been held for up to seven days.

Two other men previously arrested in relation to the alleged theft have been released and files on their potential involvement are being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

One of these is a man in his 30s who is regarded as the chief suspect behind the alleged theft. Gardaí believe he over-claimed expenses to the value of more than €1 million over a two year period.

The main suspect was arrested in March before being interviewed and released without charge. Two weeks ago, a man in his twenties who is a close associate of the main suspect, was also arrested before being released without charge.

While sums of money have been frozen in bank accounts, both in the Republic and abroad, these are only a small fraction of the sum that is alleged to have been stolen. Gardaí suspect much of the unaccounted for money is no longer in Ireland and they are trying to determine where it was transferred to.

The financial services company made a formal statement of complaint to gardaí after the allegations came to light late last year that an employee had been significantly over-claiming expenses. The alleged thefts went unnoticed for long enough for the sum in dispute to grow significantly.

Garda Forensic accountants have analysed financial records unearthed during the investigation and searches have been carried out on the main suspect’s home.