Online poker is definitely a fun and sometimes addicting game. But retired schoolteacher John Carlos took his addiction too far and stole €135,000 from an Eddie Rockets fast food restaurant to fund his bankroll.
The 74-year-old is described as leading a “remarkably ordinary life” by the Independent.ie. But the Dublin native became obsessed with online poker in his sixties and apparently wasn’t very good at it. He took heavy losses and began looking for a way to fund his habit.
Carlos found this opportunity while working as a part-time accountant. During the late 90′s, he began keeping the books for a Dublin-based Eddie Rockets. By the early 2000′s, the restaurant’s owner, Peter Fortune, trusted Carlos to become a check signatory.
For a while, Carlos remained a trustworthy employee while doing Eddie Rockets’ accounting and receiving €250 a week, plus bonuses. But sometime around 2005, he started signing checks to himself. And this kept up until he was audited in 2008. The auditor discovered that Carlos had moved large amounts of money to Paddy Power on numerous occasions.
The investigation continued, with Carlos finally turning himself into the Blackrock garda station. The 74-year-old admitted to the authorities that he stole €135k to cover his €150,000 in online poker losses.
After being arrested, Carlos entered a guilty plea at the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court. During his court appearance, Judge Mary Ellen Ring raised concern over the minimal amount of counseling and help that Carlos has sought for his addiction. However, Ring did mention that she doesn’t feel the old man would be likely to repeat his crimes. Carlos’ sentencing date is set for June 5th, 2014.