A gambling addict who told gardaí he was treated like a VIP by bookies has been jailed for the theft of nearly €180,000 from his employer.
John Kane (52) of Kilcarrig Green, Tallaght, Dublin told gardaí after his arrest in 2019 that he would go to multiple bookies every day and was spending up to €1,300 a day.
He said that because of the amount of money he was spending he was considered a VIP and was welcomed with open arms, Kane's defence barrister Damien Colgan SC told Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.
Kane pleaded guilty to 18 sample counts of stealing cash from his employer Gerard Fox on various dates between April 10th, 2017 and June 4th, 2019.
The amounts stolen on each occasion varied from sums of a few hundred up to over €3,000. Diana Stuart BL, prosecuting, told the court that the indictment against Kane comprised of 66 charges of theft and that the overall amount taken was €176,914.
She said Kane was employed as an administrator for a family-owned heating and plumbing suppliers and was responsible for their accounts.
During an audit in 2019, it was discovered that some money was missing. Further investigations showed that Kane had increased his own weekly wages from €450 to €657 and that he was also paying himself wages twice a week.
Kane was also under-declaring for tax, had stopped paying some suppliers and had made some random payments to himself from time to time.
When the thefts emerged, his employer gave him a chance to stop, but Kane continued and was given notice. During this period of notice, Kane paid himself €4,000 holiday pay without permission.
He has 37 previous convictions and in 2012 he was jailed for three years for similar thefts from his employer, to the value of €30,000.
Mr Colgan told the court that his client had a gambling addiction but has attended Gamblers Anonymous and is now certified by them as two years gambling free.
He handed in letters from two adult sons of Kane who describe him as a caring father. He said Kane's wife and four adult children were standing by him.
Judge Martin Nolan said the thefts were a real loss to the company. He accepted the sincerity of Kane's remorse but said he is a mature man and shouldn't have done what he did.
He imposed a sentence of two and a half years. He said he was taking into consideration a chronic health issue and that the sentence would be longer but for this condition.