Two men sentenced at Cork court for their part in conspiracy to launder money fraudulently claimed through PUP payments

Two men sentenced at Cork court for their part in conspiracy to launder money fraudulently claimed through PUP payments

Oluwagbewikeke Lewis pictured previously at Cork Circuit Criminal Court. Pic Cork Courts Limited

The two men have just been jailed – for three years and for two-and-a-half years - for their respective parts in a conspiracy to launder money that was fraudulently claimed through PUP payments during the Covid pandemic where they got away with over €180,000.

Between April and December 2020 PUP payments totalling over €180,000 were paid to fraudulently opened accounts.

Judge Helen Boyle said deterrence had to be to the forefront of sentencing in what was the relatively new offence of cybercrime.

In a joint investigation by An Garda Síochána in Midleton, the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau and gardaí on secondment to the Department of Social Protection, the involvement of two men in these crimes was detected.

36-year-old Oluwagbewikeke Lewis of Brookdale, Midleton, County Cork, was sentenced to four years with the last year suspended.

45-year-old Bashiru Aderibigbe of Ballincollig, County Cork, was sentenced to three-and-a-half years with the final one year suspended, at Cork Circuit Criminal Court. 

File image of Bashiru Aderibigbe appearing at the District Court in Mallow, Co. Cork in relation to fraudulent claims of the pandemic unemployment payment. Picture Dan Linhan
File image of Bashiru Aderibigbe appearing at the District Court in Mallow, Co. Cork in relation to fraudulent claims of the pandemic unemployment payment. Picture Dan Linhan

Sinéad Behan BL represented father of five Bashiru Aderibigbe, who brought another €6,000 to court today, making his total compensation €12,000. Cash totalling almost €3,300 was also seized at his home.

Tom Power BL said Lewis had raised €5,000. He said the pleas of guilty by the accused had spared the state a trial that could have gone on for two months.

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