Limerick car salesman stole €45k from employer

Limerick Courthouse

Limerick Courthouse

  • by David Hurley

A CAR salesman stole tens of thousands of euro from his employer by selling cars off the books a court has heard.

Denis Curtin, aged 42, of Woodview Park, Newcastle West pleaded guilty to 13 counts of theft relating to offences on dates during 2008 and 2009.

The total amount of money stolen by the defendant was €44,950.

Limerick Circuit Court has heard the defendant was employed as a sales manager at Liam Cleary’s Car Sales, Eastway Business Park and that he was a “trusted” employee who had “full control” over the sale of cars at the premises.

Detective Garda Christine Bergin said the owner of the company, whose main dealership is in Ennis, alerted gardai in October, 2009 after he became suspicious.

She said when Liam Cleary confronted the married father-of-two he told him: “I f**ked up, I’ve been misusing your money.”

The court was told Curtin made admissions to gardai and handed over a list of all the cars he had sold.

John O’Sullivan BL, prosecuting, said the defendant had abused his position of trust and that it was a “stealing from Peter to pay Paul scenario”.

Michael Collins BL said, Curtin, who had worked for the company since 2005, had gotten into financial difficulties after he bought a second house “off the plans” in 2006.

He said the house was not finished by the developer and that his client had to pay various tradesmen to get it ready.

“It is an example of the fallout of the property bubble,” he said adding that his client had ended up “in the eye of a perfect storm”.

Judge Carroll Moran was told Curtin, who now works in the retail sector, intends paying compensation.

Mr Collins said his client has a personal injuries claim pending and that he is willing to offer whatever money he receives to Mr Cleary.

In addition, he said the house which Curtin bought is currently on the market and that more money might be made available if it is sold.

The case was adjourned to April to facilitate the completion of a statement of means.


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