money laundering | 

Tallaght woman who allowed €20k to be fraudulently moved into her account avoids jail

The Judge said Mary Aderonke Adeola (41) made a “very poor decision” to get involved in the offending and was “motivated by financial considerations”

Mary Aderonke Adeola at the Criminal Courts of Justice

Brion Hoban

A woman who allowed over €20,000 obtained from an email redirect fraud to be transferred into her account has received a fully suspended sentence.

Mary Aderonke Adeola (41) provided her bank details to a third party, leading to money intended for an Irish brewing company to instead be lodged in her account and then withdrawn.

Aderonke Adeola of Mac Uilliam Green, Tallaght, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to two counts of money laundering both at AIB, O'Connell St, Dublin 1, on November 15, 2019, and December 30, 2019. She has no previous convictions.

Passing sentence on Thursday, Judge Melanie Greally said the accused had made a “very poor decision” to get involved in the offending and was “motivated by financial considerations”.

The judge noted Aderonke Adeola was operating on the instructions of a third party and had repaid the partial withdrawal from the second tranche of funds.

She said the accused was doing a very good job raising her five children and has an “excellent” employment history in the caring sector.

Judge Greally sentenced Aderonke Adeola to 12 months imprisonment, but suspended the sentence in its entirety on strict conditions, including that she pay over €500 to the Red Cross in support of Ukrainian nationals.

Mary Aderonke Adeola at the Criminal Courts of Justice

Detective Garda David Jennings told Diarmuid Collins BL, prosecuting, that the emails between an Irish brewing company and other companies were intercepted. Emails purporting to be from the Irish company were sent claiming that the bank details of the company had changed.

Det Gda Jennings said this resulted in money intended to be paid to the company in fact being lodged in the account of the accused woman on two occasions.

In November 2019, €15,718 was transferred into her account. This money was then transferred out of and withdrawn from the account and has not been recovered.

In December 2019, a further €6,862 was transferred into the account. This money was partially withdrawn, but the account was frozen after Aderonke Adeola went to a bank to withdraw money and was unable to say where the funds had come from.

The court heard that the accused paid back the unrecovered amount from the second tranche of funds, so there was no net loss resulting from the second transfer.

Det Gda Jennings agreed with George Burns BL, defending, that his client received €1,400 from the third party who directed her to withdraw funds. He agreed that she had been reckless in allowing her account to be used in this manner.

The detective agreed with counsel that his client came to Ireland around 2007 or 2008 and initially resided in direct provision.

Mr Burns submitted that his client's role as “akin to a drug mule situation”, except that the person at the very lowest level of these cases is always caught.

Counsel said his client would be classified as “extremely vulnerable” due to her being a woman on her own with children who is now living in homeless accommodation. He said his client had €500 in court with her as a token of her remorse.

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