Two Galway brothers will be sentenced later this month after pleading guilty to the theft of over €200,000 from an elderly lady in the city.
Thomas and Michael Coen carried out odd jobs for the woman over an 18-month period.
Galway Circuit Criminal Court heard today that a subsequent evaluation put the total cost of the work carried out at just €10,000.
The court was told how the Coen brothers - both from 181 Corrib Park, Newcastle in Galway - carried out a protracted campaign of deception against the elderly woman.
The 77-year-old lived alone and was described as reclusive and vulnerable.
She was first approached by Thomas Coen in 2013, when he knocked on her door and offered to carry out odd jobs around her property.
The lady declined but when he returned the following year, she agreed to pay him to maintain her home and gardens.
The court was told that Michael Coen and a number of others were then hired to carry out work at the property. They began carrying out jobs on a weekly and sometimes daily basis.
Over the course of 18 months, they charged the owner a total of €205,230.
Gardaí were alerted to the transfer of vast sums of cash by the elderly woman in November 2015 and launched a detailed investigation.
Judge Rory McCabe was told a subsequent independent review of the work carried out by the brothers and their associates put the actual value at €10,063.
The court heard both brothers have a list of previous convictions. Until today they had made no effort to pay back any of the money.
They will be sentenced later this month, when a victim impact statement will be read to the court.