Paddy Power punter swindled $236,000 from boss
By paul
An Irish man defrauded his employers of over €200,000 ($236,000) to bet online and at the high street branches of Paddy Power. Bernard Norton, aged 30, of St. Tallaght, Ireland, was convicted of 11 sample counts of fraud, forgery and embezzlement to the total value of €204,849.29 ($236,000) from financial services company GE Woodchester, between August 2001 and May 2002.

GE Woodchester is a loan company, lending money to car dealers and private buyers to purchase cars. Norton's job involved picking up and delivering cheques from the customers and completing in loan applications for potential customers.

Norton put his name on eight of the eleven cheques he was charged with forging, a Dublin court was told. This allowed Norton to put the cash into his own account rather than the company’s.

His other ploy had been to forge applications from non-existent customers and obtain loans which he deposited into his own account.

The fraud was exposed after a complaint from one of the GE Woodchester’s car dealer customers. The company investigated, then called in the gardai (police). Norton admitted the offences.

Norton said he had been addicted to gambling and had bet all the fraudulently obtained cash at Paddy Power bookmakers, online and at the high street shops.

Norton’s counsel said he had since joined Gamblers Anonymous and attended a residential course to try to beat his gambling addiction. He is willing to pay back the cash in installments, his counsel added.

The sentence hearing is scheduled for July 29. 'I am not ruling out a custodial sentence and nor am I ruling in one. I won't make up my mind until I get the report,' Judge Hogan said.

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