Former Bóthar boss David Moloney admits taking suitcases of cash out of the aid charity
May 14 2021 09:56 PM
Disgraced former Bóthar chief executive David Moloney has admitted taking suitcases full of cash out of the international aid charity.
The High Court heard he has now confessed to stealing charity funds over a 21-year period, with the total misappropriated standing at €1.1m.
Mr Moloney (56) has denied liability for all of this money, claiming other parties were also involved in the misappropriation of the funds.
Despite the admissions, it is still largely unclear what he did with the cash.
The court heard yesterday Mr Moloney had claimed in an affidavit the money was all gone and that he had spent it on his lifestyle.
However, few specifics were provided by him as to where it all went.
“He explains this by saying he was generous with cash to family and friends on birthdays,” Bóthar’s counsel Frank Beatty told the court.
“But even then he talks of giving €20 now and then to his eight nephews and nieces and paying his mother’s VHI annually and the car tax of €300. But that simply doesn’t explain where these monies went.”
Details of the fresh admissions emerged as the court largely granted an application from Mr Moloney to vary an order freezing his assets so he and his wife Olive could meet household living expenses and pay legal bills.
The application had been opposed by the charity on the basis Mr Moloney had supplied insufficient information about his assets and what he did with the stolen funds.
The court heard Mr Moloney admitted taking the charity’s money “in small suitcases of cash” which he had not put in the bank but spent on his lifestyle.
In the affidavit, he admitted he began taking money in 1999, much earlier than previously thought, and continued doing so until last year, when he was suspended amid mounting investigations into his conduct.
He resigned in February having spent much of the past decade as CEO.
Mr Justice Senan Allen was told Mr Moloney admitted shredding documents and deleting emails in November, the month he was suspended.
The court also heard he admitted misleading internal and external investigations, including by fraudulently manufactured a receipt which he provided to Smith & Williamson, a consultancy firm conducting one of the probes.
Mr Beatty said Mr Moloney had also instructed his counsel that he denied any wrongdoing, leading to the court being misled.
The former chief executive’s legal team is now planning to come off record.
Bóthar has spent months investigating what became of the money, but the court heard various devices it was seeking access to as part of these efforts had already been seized as part of a garda probe.
The hearing was convened after motions were filed by both Mr Moloney and his wife to vary freezing orders.
These sought to allow certain funds to be drawn from joint accounts, which Mr Moloney said had been funded out of his Bóthar salary.
The court heard Mr Moloney filed an affidavit saying the family’s living expenses were €6,160-a-month.
Essential household expenses were said to be €3,016.
But Mr Moloney’s sole income since resigning from Bóthar was a €203-a-week illness benefit.
Maria Lane, counsel for Olive Moloney, said the charity does not contend she has done anything wrong.
Ms Lane said her client could not afford to make various household and childcare payments on her salary alone.
Mr Justice Allen said he understood Mrs Moloney’s predicament. “The difficulty is her husband stole €1m and can’t afford to contribute to the household bills as he heretofor has been doing,” the judge said.
Mr Beatty said Bóthar had been placed “in a very difficult position” as regarded dealing with the applications.
While Bóthar was sensitive to the predicament of Mrs Moloney’s and the couple’s children, this was weighed against the fact charitable monies had been stolen, he said.
Mr Justice Allen described the case as “an unfolding tragedy” and that it was quite clear Mrs Moloney had been left in a distressing situation by reason of her husband’s behaviour.
However, he found her application was “misconceived” and said he could not approve it.
The judge said that while Mr Moloney had provided a “hair raising explanation” for what he did with the charity’s funds, he was satisfied that the sums in the accounts were legitimate and that the expenses sought were essential.
The judge varied the freezing order to allow €12,000 from a credit union account to pay Mrs Moloney’s legal costs.
He also allowed payments totalling €17,000 which had already been made to Mr Moloney’s legal team.
Mr Justice Allen also found Mr Moloney could use €900-a-month in rent from an investment property to meet household expenses.
Some variations sought by Mr Moloney were refused.
The case returns to court next month.