Gambler conned bank out of €49,000
A 42-year-old man with a severe gambling problem took his parents' bank details to defraud the Bank of Ireland in Wexford of more than €49,000.
Ten charges of deception or forgery were admitted by 42 year old Geoffrey Farrell of 22 Corish Park in Wexford, all dating back to the year 2005.
His compulsive gambling habit was blamed for the crimes he committed and the District Court heard that just €2,000 of the missing money had been paid back.
Judge Gerard Haughton had the benefit of a probation report on the unemployed construction worker before he imposed a suspended jail term which came with strict conditions.
Solicitor Tim Cummings stressed that his client had admitted his guilt from the very start of the case.
Farrell was the father of a five year old child and he was now living on social welfare, Mr Cummings stated.
Garda Sergeant Gary Rayner told how the defendant used the bank details of his parents to obtain €19,500 from the bank's branch in Wexford.
He also managed to pass himself off as his father before bank officials in order to obtain a fraudulent loan of €30,000.
Mr Cummings said the crimes were committed at a very difficult time in the accused man's life.
He was gambling heavily and he went to London for a while, living hand to mouth in England.
He was now back in Ireland where he had a young child.
Farrell told the court that he now paid €30 per week into a credit union account which paid for his golf club membership.
'That's nice,' responded Judge Haughton, prompting the solicitor to explain that his client had been encouraged to take up hobbies as an alternative to his gambling.
The judge stressed that such a fraud, involving such a substantial amount of money, was not a victimless crime.
The bill would be passed on to other bank customers by way of charges.
An 11 month jail sentence was recorded, the term suspended with conditions.
Farrell was ordered to attend Gamblers Anonymous meetings, not to enter any bookies, not to gamble on line or by telephone.
He was also instructed to open a new credit union account and set aside 10 per cent of his earnings, the funds to be passed on to the bank every six months.