Trusted employee steals from hearing aid company

An employee of Hidden Hearing, who had been a trusted member of staff, stole €1,240 from the hearing aid business and falsified bank lodgements, the Galway District Court heard last Monday.

Antonia O’Neill (30 ) with an address at 27 Dangan Heights, Dangan, pleaded guilty to stealing €1,240 from Hidden Hearing, 21 Eyre Square, on dates unknown between May 1, 2007 and June 25, 2007. She was also charged with failing to appear for a court sitting on April 14, 2008, and again on June 30, 2008.

Inspector Pat McHugh told the court that as a result of an investigation carried out it was discovered that money had been taken from Hidden Hearing on two occasions in May and June 2007. Gardai were contacted by the manager who had told them that on the first occasion the defendant, while “in a position of trust”, had been asked to lodge €840 in the bank. The defendant was eventually suspected of not doing this and later admitted the offence. She also admitted that as part of her job she regularly did up accounts and had written up money for lodgement with AIB. However, she filled out the accounts too late and the next day didn’t lodge the money. She instead put the money in a brown envelope and put this in her bag.

When the accounts department started asking questions, Inspector McHugh said that it was discovered that the defendant falsified bank lodgements which were then sent to the company’s headquarters. She then kept €400 on a second occasion. When she was found out she was interviewed by her own people who accepted that she would pay it back, but she failed to do so. Inspector McHugh said that the defendant had no previous convictions and had lodged €400 cash as bail money.

Defence solicitor Valerie Corcoran said that her client had a lot of personal debt at the time and wanted time to pay the full amount of compensation. She added that her client’s mother was unwell and her client also wanted the matter fully dealt with at the next court sitting. O’Neill was remanded on continuing bail to December 10, 2008.

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