A pensioner received a six-month suspended prison term after a bid to supplement his pension resulted in him being lured into an internet scam where €120,000 was ‘laundered’ through his bank account.
ames O’Rourke (76) pleaded guilty to two charges of money laundering over an elaborate fraud in which €120,000 passed through his bank account from firms in France and Sweden.
Cork Circuit Criminal Court heard the pensioner was “sucked into a Facebook friendship” with a woman based in the United States and then “unwisely” allowed his account to be apparently used as part of an email redirect scheme.
O’Rourke had only got involved in the activity to supplement his small pension.
The pensioner, with an address at Rosebrien, Newland’s Field, Graball Bay, Crosshaven, Co Cork, had fully co-operated with gardaí and pleaded guilty to two counts of money laundering.
Detective Garda James O’Reilly said the pensioner had no previous convictions and entered guilty pleas at the earlier opportunity.
O’Rourke, who raised €1,500 in compensation, had suffered a financial loss from the entire affair.
Defence counsel Brian Leahy BL said his client inadvertently got involved in criminality because of his innocence surrounding such internet scams.
Det Gda O’Reilly said the sums of money lodged in the accounts of the pensioner consisted of €52,000 sent from Sweden to the defendant’s Bank of Ireland account in April 2020.