Law executive who stole €225k from Limerick law firm is jailed

Anne Sheridan

Reporter:

Anne Sheridan

A LIMERICK man who was leading a “double life” in stealing money from his law firm to fund his serious gambling addiction has been sentenced to three years in prison by Limerick Circuit Court.

A LIMERICK man who was leading a “double life” in stealing money from his law firm to fund his serious gambling addiction has been sentenced to three years in prison by Limerick Circuit Court.

The court heard that Gary Carroll, 52, with an address in Russell Court, Fr Russell Road, Dooradoyle, pleaded guilty to a total of 35 sample charges of embezzlement, larceny and theft of over €225,000 from his employer, Connolly Sellors Geraghty on Glentworth Street, over a ten-year period. Mr Carroll, who worked with the company for 31 years, committed the offences between March 1999 and May 2009.

During that time he stole cheques belonging to clients, varying from €1,000 to €19,000 and lodged them to his own bank account in O’Connell Street in the city.

State prosecutor Michael Colins said no client of the firm suffered any loss, though the company believed they bore a loss of €260,784.17.

Judge Carroll Moran was told the partners were “aggrieved by the breach of trust” and were concerned about the damage caused to reputation of the firm.

Mark Nicholas said his client was addicted to “the buzz” of gambling, but did not have any trappings of wealth and lived a modest life.

“It wasn’t that he wanted to go off and buy a property in Spain,” he argued.

He said that prison would be “a living nightmare” for his client, “who has no society in there”.

Mr Nicholas appealed for leniency from the judge given the man’s otherwise good character, having no previous convictions.

Judge Moran said Mr Carroll attempted to cover up the thefts by redirecting monies and no suspicions had been raised for a long time because of the “great trust” the firm had in him.

He noted that the defendant has no assets to repay the funds, and had not placed a bet since these charges. He recognised that Mr Carroll has addressed his addiction, and said “while it may never be curable, it is manageable.”

However, he said the aggravating factors in this case outweighed the mitigating evidence.

*A full version of this story will be published in the Limerick Leader, print edition, dated January 23, 2012