Ulster Bank Employee Jailed For Stealing From Accounts

A bank employee has been jailed for two years after stealing a six figure sum from her employer.

Sorcha Halpin (27) formerly of Beverton Gardens, Donabate, stole almost €330,000 from Ulster Bank accounts while she was working there.

She took €303,500 from the account of an elderly female customer, and debited €2,516 from another account, to pay solicitors during the purchase of a house.

Three months later she drew €16,445 from a third customer's account to pay off her partner's car loan.

She pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to two charges of stealing a bank draft from Ulster Bank, Blanchardstown, between September and December 2009.

Det Garda Meenan told Colm O'Briain, prosecuting, that Halpin had been working at the branch for seven years as a customer service officer and had access to 'suspense accounts', where funds are held that may be in dispute.

Halpin used these accounts to plug the gaps where she had stolen from customers' accounts, meaning her theft did not come to the bank's attention until January 2011.

Once the Ulster Bank became aware of the irregularities Halpin's actions were easily traced, as she had used her own login details to complete the transactions.

Halpin admitted to the crimes immediately and said no-one but her knew what she had done.

Her partner told gardai she had told him she won the Lotto.

Halpin lost her job at Ulster Bank in March 2011 and the value of the house will be used to repay the bank.

Judge Martin Nolan said: "To call this a misjudgment is an understatement. What she did was a serious crime."


Related Irish News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

28 June 2012
Higgins Calls For Oireachtas Inquiry Into Ulster Bank Accounts Failure
Labour Party Senator Lorraine Higgins is calling for an Oireachtas inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the computer banking failure at Ulster Bank which has left tens of thousands of people without money again this weekend.
05 March 2014
Man Arrested Under 'Operation Muster'
A man has been arrested in County Tipperary as part of an "ongoing investigation into organised crime" in the south-east. Gardai detained 12 people in Kilkenny, Waterford and Tipperary following raids at many different premises under 'Operation Muster'.
30 September 2008
'No Frills' Bank Accounts Urged To Combat Financial Exclusion
Universal, no-frills bank accounts should be introduced to bring financially excluded people into the banking system, the Combat Poverty Agency has urged. The agency said that 10% of Irish adults do not have any type of bank account and one in five households do not have a current account.
10 May 2012
New Name For Northern Bank
Danske Bank has announced a new organisational set-up for its operations in Northern Ireland and Ireland. The new structure will take effect on 1 June 2012. The re-organisation mirrors a similar Group wide set-up being introduced in all Danske Bank operations.
29 June 2012
Central Bank Concerned By Ulster Bank Delays
The Central Bank of Ireland has said it is concerned by the "unacceptable continuing delays by Ulster Bank in fully resolving its systems issues and the consequent impact on its customers".