'embarrassed' | 

Psychology student says she was duped into laundering money by boyfriend

The man blocked Winnie McDonald Agu (23) from contacting him after withdrawing the money

Eimear CotterSunday World

A forensic psychology student was duped into laundering money by a man she believed was her boyfriend, a court heard.

Winnie McDonald Agu (23) let the man use her bank account and when the money, – more than €4,800 – was taken out, he blocked her phone number and she has not heard from him since.

Judge David McHugh ordered Agu to complete the restorative justice programme and adjourned sentencing to next July.

The defendant, of Avondale Park in Mulhuddart, admitted possessing, acquiring or handling €4,822, which was the proceeds of crime, at AIB, Westend Retail Park in Blanchardstown on a date between June 14 and June 19, 2018.

Sergeant Maria Callaghan told Blanchardstown District Court that gardaí were contacted by AIB’s fraud unit who said that money from an invoice and been redirected from a company in Germany.

The bank had tried to reclaim the money but it had been taken out of the account.

Sgt Callaghan said Agu was interviewed by gardaí, and she told them a male friend had asked her if he could use her account.

Agu told gardaí she was unaware of the fraud, and she did not gain anything from it.

Sgt Callaghan said the company had not been reimbursed the money.

The court heard that Agu had never been in trouble before.

Defence solicitor Liam Cadogan said Agu was completing a master’s degree in forensic psychology at Wolverhampton University.

Mr Cadogan said Agu wished to apologise for her behaviour, saying she had been foolish.

Mr Cadogan said the defendant had been fooled by a man, who she believed she was in a relationship with.

She gave him permission to use her bank account and “as soon as he got what he wanted he blocked her”.

Agu felt betrayed by this man, and was embarrassed at her own naivety.

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