Friday 24 January 2020

Woman duped out of €10k by conman after email hacked

Victim thought message to transfer cash was genuine
Victim thought message to transfer cash was genuine

A land buyer was duped into transferring nearly €10,000 into two bank accounts after her email was hacked.

The woman believed the accounts belonged to a solicitor she had been consulting over a land purchase.

However, one of the accounts, into which €6,000 was paid, belonged to Patrick Obijuru (22), a salesman.

He took out €4,200 in cash from that account over three days in December 2016.


Judge David McHugh sentenced Obijuru to four months in prison, saying the thefts had involved a considerable amount of premeditation.

The defendant, of Deerhaven Close, Clonee, Co Meath, admitted theft at AIB in Blanchardstown between December 2 and December 5, 2016.

Sgt Maria Callaghan told Blanchardstown District Court that the injured party had been in email contact with a solicitor about buying land in Dublin 15.

One of these emails was hacked, and the victim was asked to transfer €9,905 into two accounts.

The victim sent €6,000 to the defendant's account, while €3,905 was transferred to a second account.

Sgt Callaghan said the victim had been due to transfer money to the solicitor, so did not think it was unusual she was being asked for money.

However, she subsequently discovered the accounts did not belong to the solicitor.

The court heard that Obijuru had four previous convictions, including one for money laundering.

Defence lawyer Ciaran Mac- Loughlin said Obijuru was single, was working as a salesman and living at home with his family.

In relation to the thefts, Mr MacLoughlin said Obijuru was approached by someone in college and he "played along with the scheme".

Mr MacLoughlin said Obijuru accepted responsibility for what had happened, but he was the secondary party.

The lawyer also said Obijuru had cooperated with gardai, and the injured party had been fully compensated for the money she had lost.

Mr MacLoughlin further told the court that Obijuru's family was appalled at his criminal behaviour, and ashamed of what he had done.

Recognisances were set in the event of an appeal.

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