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Tallaght man (41) to face gangland conspiracy charge over €177k fraud targeting solicitor

The man was arrested this morning by officers from the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau (GNECB)

Stock photo© Getty Images/iStockphoto

Ken FoyIndependent.ie

A 41-year-old man is due to appear before court later today charged with a gangland conspiracy offence in relation to his alleged role in a €177,000 invoice redirect fraud.

The Tallaght man was arrested this morning by officers from the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau (GNECB) who have been investigating the alleged crime for over two years.

sundayworld.com has learned that it relates to an invoice redirect fraud which targeted a solicitor based in the Castleknock area of north Dublin.

In December 2020, a Belgian based couple believed they were paying €177,000 into the Dublin based solicitor’s account but it had been compromised by criminals.

The money transfer was part of a property transaction.

It has emerged that GNECB officers were quickly made aware of the fraud and were able to retrieve virtually all the money that had been transferred into the account of a Dublin based money mule.

In a separate invoice redirect fraud which targeted the solicitor’s account almost €700,000 was stolen of which around €200,000 was recovered.

The suspect who is expected to appear before court today is due to face conspiracy charges under Section 71 of the Criminal Justice Act 2006.

Invoice redirection fraud happens when a person or a business fall prey to requests, purporting to emanate from trusted suppliers or service providers, into believing that a beneficiary’s bank account details have been changed.

As a result, funds that are due to be paid out are transferred to a fraudulent account.

Over the last few number of years an increasing amount of people involve in alleged organised fraud offences are being charged under gangland legislation.

The GNECB‘s long running probe called Operation SKEIN is what gardai describe as a an ongoing investigation into international Business Email Compromise (BEC)/ Invoice re-direct/ Romance fraud being committed from Ireland, and the laundering of the proceeds through accounts in this jurisdiction.

Money mules allow their bank accounts to be used by the criminal organisation often for very little cash reward for themselves and hundreds of them have been identified by gardai with dozens convicted in court last year.

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