24 May 2022

Student acted as a 'money mule', Dundalk court heard

Student acted as a 'money mule', Dundalk court heard

Dundalk courthouse

A student with no previous convictions who acted as a ‘money mule’ was given the benefit of the Probation Act at Dundalk District Court last week.

Judge Eirinn McKiernan had been told at the original court hearing 12 months ago that the defendant was at the lower end of an elaborate scheme and in the end didn’t benefit from his role.

After being asked by a friend, Damilola Ekundayo (21) Rockfield Manor, Hoeys Lane, Dundalk, handed over his bank card and allowed his account to be used to transfer money.

He admitted one count of engaging in converting/transferring/handling/acquiring/possessing or using property that was the proceeds of criminal conduct, to wit €10,000 credited to his bank account, while knowing that or being reckless as to whether, the said property was the proceeds of criminal conduct, within the State, on May 25th 2020.

The court was also told the defendant had also been threatened not to go to the guards.
A detective outlined how the financial controller of a Dublin hotel sent €96,000 to what he believed was the account of a builders’ providers.

However, the details of the account had been compromised and €10,000 was subsequently transferred to the Mr. Ekundayo’s bank account.

Sums of €1,500 and €600 were withdrawn from this account at ATMs, and a further €2,100 was transferred to another account.

The defendant did not realise anything was wrong until he was informed that his bank account was being closed and he was not the individual on CCTV footage withdrawing money from the cash machines.

The remaining €5,800 was recovered from his account.

The student was promised ‘a few hundred euros’ but got nothing.

Judge Eirinn McKiernan who said:“A message has to go out. When we were in college we worked for money” put back the case for a year and said the Probation Act would be applied if there was no trouble in the meantime.

“The only reason (for this) is because he has a future ahead of him”, Judge McKiernan said.

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