Woman whose account was used in €1 million fraud gets suspended sentence

Olivia O Mahony (22) was asked by her then partner to accept a transfer of €15,000 into her account

Olivia O Mahony (22), of Boyerstown, Navan, Co Meath, leaving court on Tuesday after she was given an 18 month suspended sentence. Photograph: Collins Courts

Olivia O Mahony (22), of Boyerstown, Navan, Co Meath, leaving court on Tuesday after she was given an 18 month suspended sentence. Photograph: Collins Courts

 

A young Co Meath woman who allowed her bank account to be used to facilitate a €1million fraud has been given an 18 month suspended sentence.

Olivia O Mahony (22) was asked by her then partner to accept the transfer of €15,000 into her Bank of Ireland account. She then withdrew the cash in a little over two hours by buying Stg£7,000 and USD $6,000 before her account was frozen.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that O Mahony’s then partner drove her to Dublin city centre and Dublin Airport in order to buy the various currencies and she claimed in interview that she handed all the cash over to him.

O Mahony of Boyerstown, Navan, pleaded guilty to being in the possession of property knowing that it was the proceeds of criminal conduct on May 17th 2016. The mother of one has no previous convictions.

The court heard that a fraudulent email was sent to a Danish company that regularly gave a VAT reimbursement to a French client. The email purported to be from the French company and requested that the VAT refund, which was due, be transferred to a different bank account.

The Danish company complied with the request and, in May 2016, €1 million was transferred to this newly nominated Irish Rabo Direct bank account.

Antonia Boyle BL, prosecuting, told Judge Martin Nolan that very quickly after this lodgement the cash was dispersed into a number of bank accounts including O Mahony’s.

In garda interview, O Mahony said it was her bank account and said her boyfriend at the time had asked if her account could be used.

When officers put it to her that it was “a scam”, she responded “yeah” but later added that she didn’t know it was illegal.

It was acknowledged in court that O Mahony was facilitating her then partner at the time.

Kieran Kelly BL, defending, handed in reports to the court that outlined that his client was a person who was easily manipulated and as someone who had “suffered trauma”.

“She was reckless and allowed her account to be used. He abused the position which he held in her life,” Mr Kelly said referring to O Mahony’s former partner.

Judge Nolan said there was good mitigation in the case and added that O Mahony had been taken advantage of and used. He said she had “not profited from the crime” before he suspended an 18 month prison sentence in full.