U2 may have asked how to dismantle an atomic bomb on a recent album, but from 2004 to 2008 Carol Hawkins dismantled U2 bassist Adam Clayton’s finances.
Hawkins, a domestic aide Clayton hired to attend to his south Dublin mansion, was sentenced Friday for embezzling $3.6 million from Clayton’s bank accounts to fund pricey purchases such as first-class flights, a car, university educations for her children and nearly two dozen thoroughbred horses.
Hawkins had been found guilty last week on 181 counts of writing checks from Clayton’s bank account for personal purchases, and Friday an Irish jury unanimously sentenced her to a seven-year sentence. According to the Associated Press, Judge Patrick McCartan said that, “Nothing, frankly, could explain away the scale of this dishonesty other than the greed in pursuit of a lavish lifestyle that was no responsibility of Mr. Clayton’s.”
Clayton did not appear at the sentencing, but had previously testified that he knew nothing about her expenditures and gave her access to his accounts only to allow her to pay expenses related to his domestic upkeep. The judge ordered Hawkins to use funds from the sale of a New York apartment to begin paying back the amount she embezzled.
Hawkins had worked for Clayton for more than 17 years after meeting him at a Caribbean hotel she managed with her husband in 1992.
The sentence is the latest in a string of embezzlement and fraud cases involving high-profile musicians, including Leonard Cohen’s former business manager Kelley Lynch, who was sentenced to 18 months in jail for stealing millions of dollars from Cohen and conducting a campaign of harassment. A man was also sentenced to time served Thursday for breaking into the rapper Diddy’s East Hampton home earlier this year and adopting the rapper’s lavish lifestyle, reportedly wearing his clothes, drinking his liquor and eating his food in a 24-hour stay.