A 40-year-old businessman, who is originally from Dundalk, has been sentenced to four years in prison with the final year suspended after admitting to stealing almost €124,000 from Cork County Council.
Karl McCaughley, from Ballinspittle in Cork, told Judge Patrick Moran that he stole the money to fund his penchant for expensive cars. During a search on his home in 2009, two Porsche cars, one Mercedes vehicle and a Land Rover were all found on the premises.
The married father of three young children had pleaded guilty to 28 counts of deception, forgery and theft at Cork Circuit Criminal Court.
The court heard that McCaughley took the money when he was employed as an agent for Cork City Council distributing parking discs and bin tags and collecting payments from retailers.
Following a substantial investigation in 2009, detectives from the Fraud Squad based at Anglesea Street discovered that McCaughley was siphoning off payments from the retailers and lodging them to his own account.
In some instances, McCaughley asked retailers to make cheques payable to his own company. In other instances he altered cheques that had been made out to the council and made them payable to himself.
The court was told that total loss to the council was €123,983 and that McCaughley had repaid €25,800 in the past few days.
McCaughley said he did not drink or smoke and cars were his passion and his “only vice”.
He “100% apologised” and said he wanted to repay the council in full.
Judge Moran sentenced McCaughley to four years in prison, suspending the final year and refused leave to appeal.
Source: Businessman jailed for four years for fraud (RTÉ News)