IRELAND – 23-year-old Margaret McDonnell probably thought Christmas came early when she checked her bank account and found an additional GBP£43,7000 in it by accident. The single mother proceeded to splurge on gifts for friends, restaurant dinners and necessities for her 2 children.
The money had been wrongly deposited into McDonnell’s account, due to a mistake by a Bank of Ireland teller, who was supposed to transfer the money into a customer’s foreign account. The customer later checked the IBAN number he was given, but realised that the money wasn’t there, and got in touch with the bank.
The bank sent McDonnell a letter about the money but realising she was in trouble, she ignored the letter.
McDonnell pleaded guilty to 13 charges of theft in court, stealing GBP£21,419, but the judge decided that she would only have to pay back GBP£800 and complete 150 hours of community service instead of a 18 month jail term. As a single mother on welfare, she will only be able to pay GBP£12 a week out of the GBP£214 she receives as her allowance.