Invoice scam | 

'Naive' dad who let fraudster use bank account to launder €4,500 avoids jail

Proffitt Bob Chiaka (38) was given €200 in return
Proffitt Bob Chiaka claimed to be under financial pressure

Proffitt Bob Chiaka claimed to be under financial pressure

Andrew Phelan

A father-of-three was "naive" when he let a fraudster use his account to launder the €4,500 proceeds of an invoice redirect scam, a court has heard.

Proffitt Bob Chiaka (38) was given €200 in return for helping the crime by allowing the funds to be transferred through his account.

Judge Bryan Smyth adjourned the case at Dublin District Court and said he would give Chiaka a suspended sentence if he paid full compensation.

Chiaka, of Cluain an Oir, Greenville Lane, Enniscorthy, Co Wexford, pleaded guilty to money laundering on October 10, 2019.

The court heard a German company was the victim of an invoice redirect fraud where a total of €4,502 was lodged to an account at the GPO, O'Connell Street.

The stolen money was then transferred to a bank account in Amsterdam, Garda Sergeant Michelle Lynch said.

Interpol was involved in the investigation, the court heard.

Gardaí identified Chiaka and on making further enquiries it was found the stolen funds had been transferred into his account.

In interview, he made admissions to helping the offence and that he was paid €200. None of the stolen money was recovered.

Chiaka's only previous convictions were for motoring offences. The accused, who had been in Ireland for eight years, had been under financial pressure, his lawyer said.

He met someone who said they had no bank account and asked for his help.

Chiaka did not question it and just "innocently accepted it," his lawyer said, asking the judge to take account of the "very little amount of money" that Chiaka benefited from.

Judge Smyth said the accused had been "very naive".

He said if Chiaka wanted to avoid a prison he would have to repay the full amount.

The accused was optimistic that he would be able to come up with the money, the court heard.

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