Debts leads to credit union deception

Financially crippled and struggling to pay off debts, a Loughrea man walked into a credit union pretending to be a relative of his wife and tried to withdraw €6,500, the Galway District Court heard this week.

Alan Keane (29 ) with an address at Lynchfort, Loughrea, pleaded guilty last Monday to dishonestly by deception inducing staff at Naomh Padraig Credit Union, Forster Street, Galway, to allow him to withdraw €6,500 while pretending to be Mairtin Forde, and thereby making gain.

Inspector Michael Coppinger told the court that on January 2, 2009, the defendant entered the credit union pretending to be Mr Forde and requested to make a withdrawal of €6,500. The staff became suspicious, and when questioned, Keane said that he had been given permission to withdraw the money. Keane left the credit union and the matter was reported to gardai. When questioned by gardai Keane said that he had just “come by” the credit union book and that he knew Mr Forde.

Defence solicitor Thomas McHale said that his client was co-operative with gardai. He explained that Keane had been made redundant and was in serious debt to another credit union. The court heard that Mr Forde was related to Keane’s wife and that Keane was now working up to 14 hours a day as a taxi driver to pay off his debts.

After hearing that Keane had two previous convictions, one for theft, Judge Mary Fahy imposed a three month jail sentence suspended for 12 months on condition that he enter into a bond of €500 to be of good behaviour and not reoffend. He was also fined €500 with four months to pay.

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