Tuesday May 27,2014 : BOYLESPORTS MANAGER CONVICTED ON SERIOUS THEFT CHARGES
Used Paddy Power website to gamble away a small fortune.
Ronan Crowley, a 33-year-old manager at a Boylesports retail betting shop in Cork, Ireland developed such a penchant for sports betting that over a two year period he stole hundreds of thousands of Euros from his employers and, incredibly, was able to do so undetected for some time.
This week he paid the price when Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin imposed a five-year jail sentence on him, and was fortunate that the judge suspended it in its entirety.
The Irish Examiner reports that Crowley gambled most of the Euro 590,810 he stole through the Paddy Power website and that the online bookmaker appeared to have flagged his big-spending account. The court was told that Paddy Power carried out an internal investigation on the account and stopped Crowley from making further deposits…but it did not feel it was necessary to advise Boylesports.
Paddy Power became so concerned about the extent of Crowley's betting that the Boylesports manager was approached and asked about the source of his funds. He lied to the betting group, saying that he had inherited the money.
It took 22 months, but eventually Crowley's employer tumbled to the thefts and called in the police.
Detective Padraig Harrington told the court that in 236 separate thefts Crowley failed to lodge shop cash receipts into the company’s main account any day on which he was working over a 22-month period between November 19, 2011, and September 2 2013, misappropriating Euro 590,810 over the period and gambling Euro 398,000 of it away online at Paddy Power.
Harrington said that the chances of recovering the money in a reasonable time from the accused were negligible.
“They [Paddy Power] failed to notify Boylesports. They knew he was a manager at Boylesports,” the detective claimed.
Crowley's legal representative said that his client had hoped to secure a big win which would have enabled him to put the money he had stolen back into his employer's account, but he had only lost more money.
He suggested that had Crowley been stopped earlier he might have stood a chance of repaying the stolen funds. He added that Crowley had cooperated with the police and was remorseful.
Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin expressed surprise that the theft of such a large sum of money had gone undetected for so long.
“This is a truly extraordinary case," he said. "In excess of half a million Euro was stolen from Boylesports over almost two years, a significant breach of trust.
“It beggars belief that a company like Boylesports are so disorganised in their set-up they did not know this was going on for almost two years – a man entrusted to make lodgements was not making the lodgements.
“One would expect this would be picked up overnight or within a week in a properly-run business.
“Paddy Power knew or suspected there was something wrong, had the accused as a monitored customer and seemed to be slow in either reporting it or detecting it. Again that is quite extraordinary.”