Fraudster who took part in €1.5m money laundering operation for organised crime gang is jailed
May 10 2021 06:44 PM
A fraudster who took part in a €1.5m money laundering operation for an organised crime gang has been jailed for four-and-a-half years.
Calin Scintei described himself to gardaí as a “budgie down the mine” who was pressured into carrying out offences for a Romanian organised crime gang, Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard today.
These included a Tesco gift card scam, in which he helped to defraud the retailer of €12,400 and an ATM scam in which he caused €18,000 worth of criminal damage to AIB ATMs and stole over €7,600 in cash.
He also took part in a €1.5m money laundering operation in which he set up 27 bank accounts using false documents and registered five fake companies. These accounts were responsible for laundering about €780,000, Aideen Collard BL, prosecuting, told the court.
The court heard the gang was laundering money from various criminal scams, such as the Tesco fraud and ATM thefts that Scintei took part in.
One victim of the money laundering crime was a woman who, while on maternity leave, had nearly €10,000 stolen from her after she was sent a fake text from Revenue saying she was entitled to a refund, the court heard.
Scintei (28) with an address at Jameson Orchard, Malahide, Co Dublin, pleaded guilty to 25 charges, including participating in organised crime, fraud offences, criminal damage, theft and possessing the proceeds of crime on dates between August 2018 and January 2020.
He has 12 previous convictions, including for theft and fraud offences.
Sentencing him today, Judge Martin Nolan said he accepted Scintei was paid a “modest reward” for his role and was “not a master criminal”.
“But he was certainly a busy criminal,” the judge said.