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Bank manager stole money from friends

A former bank manager who was jailed for four years after he stole nearly €450,000 from customers to pay off debts arising from unsuccessful investments in the property market has had half his sentence suspended on appeal.
In April last year, Kevin Jarlath Mitchell (55) was jailed for four years by Judge Martin Nolan at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court after pleading guilty to 10 sample counts of charges relating to stealing money from clients while he was a senior official at ACC Bank in Kilrush.
Mr Mitchell, with a last address at Drimnagh Road, Drimnagh, pleaded guilty to charges of theft, obtaining cash and a cheque under false pretenses and falsifying a DIRT compliance certificate on dates between January 1993 and February 2012.
The court heard evidence that father-of-five Mitchell stole €197,000 from a pensioner after leading the man to believe that he had been depositing his cash in a high-interest account.
Mitchell also stole €250,000 from a couple who were long-term friends and customers.
The court heard evidence that ACC bank fully reimbursed all parties, while Mitchell surrendered effectively his entire pension fund, valued at €600,000, by way of recompense to the bank.
Returning judgement this week, presiding judge, Mr Justice Donal O’Donnell said the appeal court found that these were very serious offences, and in relation to the pensioner the matter was a repeated breach of trust not just of a client but of a friend, involving “considerable dishonesty”.
He said the court thought it important to observe that Mitchell’s surrendered pension entitlement could be considered near perfect restitution but not near perfect mitigation.

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