Court hears how close woman came to losing €71k retirement fund to scam
A recently retired woman, a restaurant owner, a pharmacist, a shareholder in a water filtration company, and a crane hire and construction company were all tricked into putting money into a fraudster’s bank account after hackers accessed their emails.
The account into which all the money was lodged – some of which was never recovered – was a Bank of Ireland account in the name of Michael Fakinle, with an address at Ballyboden in Rathfarnham, Dublin 16, Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard on Tuesday.
Now a 21-year-old student, he says that when aged 19, he allowed his account to be used by someone whose identity he has not revealed to gardaí.
Judge Pauline Codd heard that the largest single amount of money, a retirement fund of €71,892.41 belonging to a recently retired woman in the south-west, was transferred into Fakinle’s Bank of Ireland account.
For four days in May 2020, it remained there, apparently unnoticed by the criminals, and was retrieved before they could take it. However, other sums of money ranging from €1,100 to €5,000 have not been recovered and the rightful owners are out of pocket, the court heard.
Fakinle pleaded guilty to five counts of handling property knowing it to be the proceeds of criminal conduct. He also pleaded guilty to a separate charge of money laundering. He will be sentenced on October 7.
Detective Garda Shane Whelan told David Perry BL, prosecuting, that in May 2020, a shareholder in a water filtration company received an…