Woman who set up bank account in Cork city to facilitate money laundering avoids jail

Woman who set up bank account in Cork city to facilitate money laundering avoids jail

Judge Ó Donnabháin noted the plea of guilty and her acknowledgment that her account had been used for the lodgement and withdrawal of the money.

A woman set up a bank account at Blackpool in Cork to facilitate the laundering of €10,000 and now she has been given an 18-month suspended jail term.

Detective Sergeant Clodagh O’Sullivan gave evidence at the sentencing hearing for Jennifer O’Connor of 65 Killala Gardens, Knocknaheeny, Cork, at Cork Circuit Criminal Court.

The detective said an account was activated at the Bank of Ireland in Blackpool on March 31, 2017 in the name of Jennifer O’Connor.

On June 6, 2017 €10,000 was transferred to this account in a fraudulent transaction.

While O’Connor’s financial involvement was limited to this €10,000 it came from an account that had been utilised in the context of a fraudulent business transaction of €700,000.

Det. Garda O’Sullivan said that the day after the €10,000 was lodged in the O’Connor bank account in Blackpool a sum of €9,940 was transferred to an account in Dublin.

On investigation, it appeared that O’Connor had opened the account with another person who had offered to give her a €700 loan.

Prosecution barrister Donal O’Sullivan said the other person referred to in the prosecution evidence may have known Jennifer O’Connor and taken advantage of her.

“She would be a vulnerable person,” Mr O’Sullivan said, adding that she was not significantly involved in this criminality and was not involved otherwise with the account containing the €700,000 related to the crediting of a Bank of Ireland account.

Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin was told that the O’Connor, who is in her late 30s, had some previous convictions for public order, road traffic offences and theft.

John Devlin, defence barrister, said, “I don’t think she gained anything from this. She admitted during interview she was reckless in allowing her account to be used.

“She instructs me she is very sorry for what happened.” 

Judge Ó Donnabháin noted the plea of guilty and her acknowledgement that her account had been used for the lodgement and withdrawal of the money.

“Even though she knew what she was doing was illegal she did not profit from it. It had been described as recklessness rather than intentional criminality,” the judge said.

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