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foolish mistake Young man who allowed account to be used to launder over €28k avoids jail

Judge Pauline Codd said Jelan thought he was facilitating a person who had no bank account and it was clear he did not anticipate the type of use to which the account was put

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A young man who allowed his account to be used to launder over €28,000 from an invoice redirect scam has received a fully suspended sentence.

Mohammad Jelan (23) provided his bank details to a third-party, which were then sent on to a construction company purporting to be the new bank details of a subcontractor whose email had been hacked.

Jelan of Avonbeg Gardens, Tallaght, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to money laundering at a location within the state on April 24, 2018. He has two previous convictions for road traffic offences.

Passing sentence, Judge Pauline Codd said Jelan thought he was facilitating a person who had no bank account and it was clear he did not anticipate the type of use to which the account was put.

Judge Codd said it was accepted he was at the “the very bottom rung” in terms of culpability. She said he was clearly a young man who “made a foolish mistake”.

She said there has to be deterrence because a message has to go out to young people that it is dangerous to allow people to use your account because you end up with a criminal conviction.

Judge Codd sentenced Jelan to 12 months imprisonment, but suspended the sentence in its entirety on strict conditions.

Garda Conor Newman told Diana Stuart BL, prosecuting, that a construction company based in west Dublin received updated baking details from one of their subcontractors.

Gda Newman said that the email of this subcontractor had in fact been hacked by a third-party who were able to send an email with the bank account details of Jelan. A payment of €28,290 was made by the construction company into his account.

The court heard there was no suggestion that Jelan had sent the email to the construction company.

Gda Newman said that Jelan never had access to the money, which was taken out of his account. He had been promised €500 for the use of his account, but he did not receive any money.

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He told the court that Jelan was “shocked” when he checked the account, saw that the money was being removed and rang his bank to ask what the transactions were.

Gda Newman agreed with David O'Brien BL, defending, that his client answered all questions asked by gardaí in significant detail.

The garda agreed with counsel that his client has not come to garda attention since the offence. He agreed Jelan is an apprentice electrician and has always worked.

Mr O'Brien said his client was aged 19 at the time of the incident and he got involved in something that was “way over his head”. He said his client was offered “inducement” to allow his account to be used by someone who he knew through a friend.

Counsel said this matter will be reflected in his record, but he had “done all that could be asked of him” in the intervening period since the offence.

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