Man jailed for Donedeal fraud

A man who placed adverts on a website offering goods for sale, which he did not have and for which he received money, was jailed by Judge Mary Devins this week as he failed to have full compensation in court.

At a previous court sitting it was outlined by Garda Nicola Golden that on July 14 2012, gardaí received a complaint by Patrick Kiely from Claremorris that he saw an advert on for an iPhone for sale for €300. The seller ‘Mick’ was contacted by phone and Mr Kiely agreed to lodge money into Mick’s AIB account on Friday July 13. Mick was to send the man a text when the money was received, with a postage tracking number, but this was never texted and Mr Kiely then contacted gardaí.

Garda Golden made enquiries and discovered that another man in Dublin had also paid money into the same account after seeing an advert on the same website for an iPad. The details of this account belonged to Michael Lawrence, 2 Kilkenny Close, Moneen, Castlebar. Lawrence admitted to gardaí that he placed adverts for items he did not have for sale.

Altogether, eight injured parties came forward. A total of €1,835 had been scammed from these people.

The 20-year-old man was co-operative and he had no previous convictions.

Solicitor James Ward said that he did not think Lawrence concocted the idea. Mr Ward said that the “unpleasant crime” was used to pay towards Lawrence’s wedding which took place in January.

Judge Mary Devins adjourned the case for the full amount to be paid to all people defrauded. However at the adjourned court sitting he only managed to come up with €200. At Wednesday’s court he only had another €100 in court and the judge gave him to 1pm that day to have the full amount in court or he would be jailed. Lawrence was not in court at 1pm and the judge jailed him for defrauding innocent people.

He was convicted and sentenced to a total of six months in prison, with the last month to be suspended on the condition that the full amount of compensation be paid in full.


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