Gordon O’Brien, aged 43, took the money from Anglo’s Limerick branch as the bank was calling in its loan accounts during the Government takeover three years ago.
It was later noticed during an audit by Anglo’s successor, Irish Bank Resolution Corporation.
O’Brien, it emerged, had set the money aside “as a war chest” because he was going to lose his job in the wind-up of the bank.
His counsel said his wife was also going to lose her job with another bank and his son had just been diagnosed with autism and faced having his education grant cut.
O’Brien had been described as “a decent man who made a catastrophic mistake”.
At Dublin Circuit Criminal Court yesterday, Judge Patricia Ryan sentenced O’Brien, a father of two, to four years’ jail but suspended it in full for three years.
She noted he was under considerable financial pressure at the time due to his son’s condition and the likelihood he would lose his job.
The Limerick man committed the fraud by transferring clients’ money into several bank accounts he controlled. He would then take money from internal Anglo accounts and put it into the clients’ accounts to make them appear in order.
O’Brien, of Springfield, Dooradoyle, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to six counts of dishonestly using a computer with the intention of making gain or causing loss at Anglo Irish Bank, Henry St, Limerick.
The offences occurred over a 10-month period between September 2010 and June 2011.
O’Brien made full admissions when confronted by bank officials and all the money was returned soon after.
Detective Garda Stephen Niland of the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation told prosecuting counsel Paul Carroll BL there had been a lengthy delay in IBRC making a complaint to gardaí because of what was going on in the bank at the time.
O’Brien’s fraud revolved around Anglo’s operations in Limerick, which involved loaning money to clients for the leasing of equipment, usually tractors and plant machinery.