Couple to stand trial over theft of €1.25m

A husband and wife are to stand trial in connection with the alleged theft of €1.25m from Vodafone Ireland over a four-year period.

David McGovern, from Burrow Manor, Calverstown, Co Kildare, was further charged at Dublin District Court with 10 counts of deception contrary to the Theft and Fraud Act.

The 40-year-old is involved in running an electronics firm.

It is further alleged he induced the telecoms company to make payments of various sums to a named company, with intent of making a gain.

These counts are in addition to 36 offences with which he was charged earlier.

Detective Stephen Niland, of the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation, told Judge Anthony Halpin that there was a co-accused.

Mr McGovern’s wife Elaine, aged 41, is accused of handling and possession of stolen money, sums totalling €939,741, in two bank accounts from February 2003 until August 24, 2004. She is also facing six charges under the Taxes Consolidation Act for unlawfully submitting invoices which charged €81,000 in Vat.

There was no objection to bail and they were ordered to appear again in six weeks when they are to be served with books of evidence and returned for trial.

The DPP has directed a “trial on indictment” at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

Solicitor Michael Staines told Judge Halpin that his clients, who have not yet entered pleas, met gardaí by appointment.

Mr McGovern had already been charged in July with 36 connected charges relating to alleged theft and fraud offences at Vodafone’s HQ in Leopardstown in Co. Dublin from 2003 until 2007.

In that batch of charges, Mr McGovern had 15 counts of theft of sums totalling €1.25m and one for attempted theft of €68,000, along with five counts of deception, in which it is alleged he tried to induce Vodafone staff to pay amounts to named business entities for his own gain.

Mr McGovern also has one charge for attempted deception and the remaining 14 come under the Taxes Consolidation Act.

A former senior executive at Vodafone has also been charged with stealing almost €2 million from the company from 2003 to 2007.

Niall Barron, former head of corporate financial services at the telecoms company, is facing 55 charges for theft and deception, and attempted theft and attempted deception.

The 40-year-old, who has an address at Ard na Cuan in Wexford Town, will appear again on October 14 next when he will be served with a book of evidence and returned for trial.

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