Money mule who laundered €38,000 not ‘tech savvy’, court told
25th July 2022
A hotel worker who let a fraudster lodge more than €38,000 in crime proceeds into her bank account thought she was taking part in a “legitimate business opportunity,” a court has heard.
Vineta Gramberga (55) was not “tech savvy” and had been promised a job when she opened the account and allowed it to be used for money laundering.
Judge Treasa Kelly fined her €400 at Dublin District Court.
Gramberga, of Blessington Street, Phibsborough, pleaded guilty to possessing €38,840 in crime proceeds.
A garda sergeant said in April 2015, the accused took possession of this sum into her bank account after a man obtained it fraudulently from a company.
After the money was lodged, it was withdrawn by the accused and transferred between April 17 and 20 that year.
When interviewed, Gramberga told gardaí she had been promised a job by a man and was asked to open an account to receive funds for that job.
After the funds were transferred to third parties, the accused got €500 for her part.
Gramberga had applied for a job in a business scheme at the time, and was under the impression that she was receiving the funds for this business, her solicitor Claire Finnegan said.
These type of scams were not as well known then as they are now, she added.
The accused “wouldn’t have been completely tech savvy” and had no reason to believe she was involved in anything fraudulent at the time.
Gramberga “meant no harm” and “thought she was engaging in a legitimate business opportunity” but instead found herself in a garda station, the court heard.
The judge said a large sum of money was transferred into the accused’s account, she withdrew it and the sum was handed over to someone else.
She took account of the fact that Gramberga had pleaded guilty and taken responsibility.
The judge gave the accused six months to pay the fine.