A former Dublin letting agent employee who stole over €8,600 from tenants around the country has been sentenced to community service in lieu of a prison sentence.
Jonathan Chubb (aged 35) of Keeper Road, Drimnagh told gardaí that he had always intended to pay the money back and had stolen it to deal with his own financial difficulties in the short term.
Chubb pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to 11 charges of stealing rent money totalling €8,660 at Douglas Newman Good, Leeson Park, Ranelagh and Coldwell Banker Estates, Main Street, Dundrum between July 16 and December 19, 2012.
He has previous convictions for minor road traffic offences.
Judge Martin Nolan was told Chubb has been found eligible for community service following a report by the Probation Service.
At Chubb’s earlier sentencing hearing Judge Nolan said that “a species of crime I particularly dislike is white collar crime”.
He told Chubb: “Even stealing small amounts of money from these tenants is reprehensible, because it is not unlikely they were in exactly the same (financial) position as you.”
He noted that it was not a sophisticated crime and Chubb was always going to be detected.
The judge imposed 200 hours of community service in lieu of a two-year prison sentence. Chubb must complete the hours within 12 months.
Detective Garda Gerard Hickey said that Chubb had been responsible for collecting rent for properties held by Grant Thornton Receivers.
Instead of forwarding the company’s bank account details, Chubb sent tenants his own bank information. The tenants would then pay the money directly into his account.
Chubb was found out when Grant Thornton contacted various tenants to say it had not received funds.
Det Gda Hickey told Gerardine Small BL, prosecuting, that Chubb was fired and none of the money had been repaid.
He agreed with James Dwyer BL, defending, that the crime was “not the work of a criminal mastermind”.
Mr Dwyer submitted to Judge Nolan that his client, who now sells software from home, had been a property investor but suffered financially after the economic crash.