Northern Ireland news

Woman ordered to repay fraud victims or face further jail time

Julie McBrien committed 26 counts of fraud and money laundering

A WOMAN who stole £1.9 million from her employers to fund her “luxury lifestyle” must repay her victims or face a longer jail term.

Julie McBrien (47) of Screeby Road, Fivemiletown, committed 26 counts of fraud and money laundering over an eight-year period as she breached the trust of her employers, Cookstown-based Northern Mouldings Limited, owned by Heron Brothers.

McBrien, who was in charge of finances, filtered cash from the company bringing it to the verge of collapse.

She was given a jail sentence of five and a half years, which she failed to overturn on appeal last month.

Now, a Proceeds of Crime Order has been granted.

A financial investigator told Dungannon Crown Court he forensically examined McBrien’s accounts and property, including into consideration her home and grounds, various property held in storage and her jewellery which is currently lodged with an auctioneer awaiting clearance to sell.

He informed the court the amount sought by way of compensation is just shy of £1.9m. He estimated the recoverable amount of assets to be in the region of £673,000, although it was stressed this is an approximation and takes into account the equity in McBrien’s house.

Judge Brian Sherrard ordered her house and assets to be confiscated and while the sum of £1.86m accurately amounted to the victims’ loss. However, the recoverable amount of £673,000 is the available compensation amount.

The judge concluded: "Payment is to be made by 23 February 2023 and the default period for failure to so will be seven years imprisonment."

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