Gambling addict banker stole over €45k

An AIB official with a gambling addiction stole €15,000 and blew it on three bets and then stole over €30,000 in a desperate attempt to win back the lost money.

Walter McGrath, aged 25, of 37 St Anthony’s Rd, Gurranabraher, Cork, had a crisis of conscience after stealing the €45,750 from AIB in Blackpool between June 7 and 11, 2013. He then confessed to what he had done.

He was given a three-year suspended sentence yesterday.

With the support of family, he repaid the amount to the bank. He rang the bank looking for the manager when he realised he had to admit what he had done before the bank had discovered the loss.

McGrath was told that the manager was at a meeting at the River Lee Hotel that morning. The accused went directly to the hotel and told the manager in person what he had done.

McGrath lost his job as a result of the theft, investigating officer Andy O’Connell said yesterday at Cork Circuit Criminal Court.

“He was a bank official, a bank teller. He was in a counter room, accessible only to people concerned with official bank business. He picked up three €5,000 bundles and put them in a bag and left the bank with the €15,000 on the Friday.

“He was not working over the weekend. On the following Monday, again in the counter room, he took €20,000. On the following Tuesday, he took €10,750.

“He had a gambling addiction. He put on three €5,000 bets, all of which he lost. In effect, he was chasing his losses.”

Dermot Sheehan, defending, said: “He has a degree in business. This in effect was his first job in finance, a very good job. He has learned now that he cannot be handling money. He also knows that he has a gambling problem and he cannot now gamble.”

Judge David Riordan said the behaviour showed a naivety or overbearing of his mind by his addiction. He said the defendant had suffered already by losing his job and losing the prospect of ever working in the area for which he had studied.


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