A Co Tyrone woman who cheated her employers out of £1.9million (€2.2million) and faked cancer to further fund her lavish lifestyle has lost an appeal of the jail sentence she was handed.
ulie McBrien (47), also known as Hogg, of Screeby Road, Fivemiletown, ran the massive fraud and money laundering operation over a period of eight years, bringing her employer, Cookstown-based Northern Moldings Limited, to the brink of collapse.
Funds were squandered on her luxurious lifestyle with a sprawling country house, top-of-the-line cars and expensive vacations.
Forensic examination reveals lifestyle expenses of just over £141,000; general expenses of £360,000; property development and interior design totaling £667,000; Fashion and beauty for £231,000 and £145,000 for jewellery.
Defenders had previously requested that certain details be kept from publication, but this was denied.
McBrien produced false bank statements and forged a former employee’s signature after failing to remove his name from the mandate.
She then forged a document that made her solely responsible for finances, countersigning checks and creating false invoices.
She told a company director that she had cancer and asked him to keep it confidential. The specific condition matched that of a close relative of the director who was trying to support McBrien as his employee.
It was fabricated, however, and she used a particularly sensitive issue to continue funding her lavish lifestyle without interference.
When she was arrested, she admitted everything, initially claiming that the money had been spent on vacation and that there was nothing to show for it.
A prosecutor’s report attested to her: “The ability to manipulate for her own purposes and all assessments are based on her own claims.”
At sentencing, Judge Brain Sherrard KC told her: “You were given preferential treatment after you claimed you had cancer. You wrote this lie and you profited from it… You didn’t care about anyone affected by you. Your insult was taken out of greed.”
Judge Sherrard dismissed the defense’s suggestion that McBrien be hospitalized rather than jailed, saying she “only sought private treatment, avoided her GP and none of the adjudicating experts took any action to jail her.” to let.”
It would be more than two years after the charges were admitted before McBrien was convicted because her lawyers consulted numerous experts who insisted she should not be jailed and demanded permanent anonymity.
A physiatrist traveled from England to tell the court that the stolen funds, while “absolutely enormous”, had a function.
He attributed McBrien’s behavior to, among other things, feeling left out growing up with four siblings and likened it to “martyr syndrome”.
Faking cancer, he claimed, is “curing emotional support that you feel is lacking.”
The psychiatrist only accepted access to McBrien’s GP notes up to 2016 and did not request additional records as he did not think they would materially change his mind.
He also felt that such material had no relevant value, having obtained sufficient evidence from McBrien.
Ultimately, his opinion was rebuffed and in November 2021 – after several failed court appearances – McBrien was sentenced to five and a half years in prison.
Almost a year later, she applied for leave to appeal the sentence and for legal aid to help fund it, but both were denied.
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/courts/woman-who-defrauded-her-employers-out-of-22m-and-faked-having-cancer-to-fund-lavish-lifestyle-loses-bid-to-appeal-prison-sentence-42036978.html Woman who cheated her employer out of €2.2million and faked cancer to fund lavish lifestyle loses appeal against jail term