Manorcunningham money mule to be sentenced for €5,500 fraud

Manorcunningham money mule to be sentenced for €5,500 fraud

A Manorcunningham computer science student who allowed €5,500 pass through his account and gave his bank card to a stranger will be sentenced on Monday for money laundering.

Khaelim McSweeney earned just €113 for his part in the endeavour and will be sentenced at Letterkenny District Court.

A 26-year-old of Meadowfield Manor, Manorcunningham, McSweeney was before the court this week where Judge Éiteáin Cunningham said the case needed careful consideration.

Judge Cunningham said she would give the matter further time after hearing a plea of mitigation from barrister Mr Simon Gillespie BL on behalf of McSweeney, who has offered to pay the sum of €1,600 as a token of remorse.

Mr Gillespie, instructed by solicitor Mr Donough Cleary, said €1,600 was a sizeable sum for McSweeney, who is a social welfare recipient.

McSweeney was accompanied to court by his girlfriend and his mother.

The charge relates to a date between February 11, 2021 and February 12, 2021, both dates inclusive.

McSweeney was charged with converting, transferring, handling, acquiring, possessing or using the €5,500, money credited to a Bank of Ireland account in his name, knowing or believing that the property probably comprises the proceeds of criminal conduct.

The court was told that the accused allowed the money to be diverted from another account through his own account.
McSweeney subsequently allowed another person to use his bank card.

At the time of the offence, Mr Gillespie said McSweeney was a computer science student and said his client’s total benefit was €113.

“It is definitely at the lower end of the scale,” Mr Gillespie said. “He is a young man with no previous conviction and he tendered an early plea of guilty.”

Mr Gillespie said ‘naivety or stupidity’ had ‘got the better’ of McSweeney during a period when he was in a ‘vulnerable’ position while awaiting the payment of a student grant.

He asked the court to consider giving McSweeney, who has no previous convictions and who was fully co-operative, the benefit of the Probation Act.

“It has had a devastating effect on his day-to-day life,” Mr Gillespie said. “He unreservedly apologises for this.

“He specialises in cyber security and a conviction would make looking for work cumbersome and almost impossible.”

References on behalf of McSweeney were handed into court. Mr Gillespie said his client attends Skills Connect two days a week and through the Donegal Volunteer Centre dedicates Sundays and Wednesdays to assisting the Tidy Towns group while he also attends a Step In Step Up programme with DLDC.

Mr Gillespie said: “A conviction for a one-time mistake for very little benefit would be absolutely devastating. A conviction here would be devastating for his prospects.”

He added that the €1,600 was a token of McSweeney’s remorse and asked the court to show leniency given the ‘exceptional circumstances’.

Sergeant Jim Collins said what Mr Gillespie outlined was ‘an accurate reflection’.

Judge Cunningham said she considered the matter a ‘serious offence’.

While McSweeney has taken steps, Judge Cunningham said the matter needed careful consideration given the nature of the offence.

The case was adjourned to Monday next, February 26.

Manorcunningham money mule to be sentenced for €5,500 fraud was last modified: February 21st, 2024 by Staff Writer

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