A LETTERKENNY woman who used a business account cheque book to fraudulently obtain goods and cash of nearly €7,000 has been referred to the Probation Service.
Fiona Devine (41) of 18 St Columba’s Terrace was before yesterday’s sitting of Letterkenny District Court where she pleaded guilty to 51 counts of making gain/causing loss by deception.
The court heard that over three-month period Devine, who had no previous convictions, caused a total loss of €6,778,34 to businesses across County Donegal.
Solicitor, Mr Michael Shiel told the court that his client had applied for a business loan of €10,000 with Allied Irish Bank (AIB) to set up a second-hand furniture business.
During the course of the application process a business account was set up and the defendant was given a cheque book.
Judge Paul Kelly heard Devine’s initial loan application was turned down, but she was told to appeal the decision with another department within AIB.
Mr Shiel said his client, a separated mother-of-five, continued to use the cheque book thinking she would still be granted the loan by the bank.
As well as obtaining cash, Devine also purchased goods, including groceries, petrol, an electric blanket, a toaster, laptop and other items, most of which were recovered. The court heard the defendant co-operated fully during the investigation.
Adjourning the case, Judge Kelly referred the defendant to the Probation Service for the preparation of a probation and community service report.
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Letterkenny based GP Dr James McDaid said that an ‘awful’ lot of people across Donegal were using benzodiazepines.