Ex Bóthar boss stole money over 21-year period, judge says

David Moloney was 'generous' with the cash, spending it on family holidays and on friends, the High Court heard
Ex Bóthar boss stole money over 21-year period, judge says

David Moloney, in a sworn statement to the court, said he that he was generous with the cash which he spent on things such as family holidays, on his friends, but never lodged the monies in the bank nor has he kept any of the cash taken.

Bóther's former chief executive David Moloney "stole" significant quantities of cash donated to the charity to fund his lifestyle over a 21-year period, the High Court heard.

Mr Moloney, in a sworn statement to the court, said he that he was generous with the cash which he spent on things such as family holidays, on his friends, but never lodged the monies in the bank nor has he kept any of the cash taken.

He also claimed that much of what was misappropriated was paid to others, including the late Bóthar founder Peter Ireton, and said his wife Olive did not knowingly benefit from the monies he took, and was never given any of the cash he took.

In a sworn statement to the court, Mr Moloney said he was deeply sorry, embarrassed and appalled for the damage he had caused. He is currently on welfare, which is his sole income.

Bóthar does not accept his explanations about what happened to the misappropriated funds, Mr Justice Senan Allen noted when the charity's action against Mr Moloney returned before him on Friday.

Freezing order

The court, based on admissions by Mr Moloney, also agreed to vary the freezing order preventing the former CEO from reducing his assets below €769,000 to a value of €1.1m.

The judge also heard applications by Mr Moloney and Mrs Moloney to vary the freezing order that were put in place after it emerged Mr Moloney misappropriated the charity's monies.

The judge said he was prepared to make orders allowing Mr Moloney variations on the freezing order, releasing €13,000 from a credit union account allowing him pay some towards his legal fees.

He was also permitting Mr Moloney make payments out of accounts in his name, the proceedings of which the defendant claims come from his salary, towards what the defendant claimed are "essential" living expenses, These include childcare costs, insurance on his home and an investment property he owns, and mortgages repayments.

'Stolen cash' had all been spent

The judge said while Bóthar did not like Mr Moloney's explanation about where the money has gone, the court said his claim that the "stolen cash" had all been spent was plausible.

However, the judge dismissed the application by Olive Moloney against whom no allegations of wrongdoing have been made, to vary the orders.

She had sought orders including that €12,000 be released from a credit unit account in her husband's name to pay her legal fees.

Living expenses

She also sought an order for the release of moneys from a joint Permanent TSB Account with her husband to go towards her and her children's living expenses.

The expenses include childcare for the Moloney's children, and insurance costs and mortgage payments.

The judge, who expressed his sympathy to the dreadful situation Mrs Moloney found herself in due to her husband's action, rejected her applications for variations on the grounds that they were misconceived.

The money she was seeking would essentially be coming from Mr Moloney, the judge said.

Mrs Moloney, he said, had made claims about interests in marital assets, including the family home, worth €500,000, with just €60,000 remaining on the mortgage, and an investment property worth €150,000 with €90,000 owed on that mortgage.

No evidence had been given to the court as to her financial contribution to those assets, the judge added.

Bóthar, represented by Frank Beaty, opposed the applications, on grounds including that information and details provided to it by the Moloneys was not sufficient to allow the court make the variations to the orders.

The judge said the case was an unfolding tragedy where Mr Moloney had made admissions of taking cash in suitcases from Bóthar over a lengthy period of time.

Previously, Mr Moloney admitted before the court that he and others, including the late Peter Ireton, had misappropriated large amounts of monies donated to the charity for their personal use.

The admissions came after Bóthar, whose activities including aiding poor farmers in developing nations through donations of livestock, secured a High Court injunction freezing the assets of Mr Moloney, who resigned his post as the organisation's chief executive in February.

The monies included about €200,000 that the charity believed was donated to projects run by an order of Roman Catholic Nuns in the African nation of Tanzania between 2013 and 2018, which the order never received.

Mr Moloney also admitted misappropriating €127,000 which was paid to an English company for services it provided in relation to purported projects in Rwanda, which were never carried out.

Pension fund

He admitted that in 2016, €100,000 of the charity's money was fraudulently paid into a pension fund he set up for himself. The matter is the subject of a Garda investigation.

Mr Moloney, of Clino, Newport, Co Tipperary, worked with Bóthar since 1995, and was its chief executive for eight years.

Bóthar claims in its proceedings that an on-going investigation into his conduct has revealed that he is "guilty of an egregious breach of trust and an appalling dereliction of his duty to Bóthar and the beneficiaries of its charitable objects."

The matter will return before the court next month.

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