Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 19 April 2014

Financial adviser admits laundering £250k from Northern Bank heist blamed on IRA

Timothy 'Ted' Cunningham

A financial adviser has pleaded guilty to laundering more than £250,000 of the proceeds of the Northern Bank robbery 10 years ago.

Timothy 'Ted' Cunningham admitted two counts of money laundering arising out of the £26.5m robbery yesterday.

He is the only person convicted over the 2004 robbery.

The first offence occurred in January 2005, at Tullamore, Co Offaly, and involved the transfer of £100,040 by Cunningham to John Douglas. The second took place around February 7, 2005, at Ballincollig, Co Cork, and involved the transfer by Cunningham of £175,360 to John Sheehan and obtaining three cheques to a total value of €200,000.

The court previously heard that Cunningham had approached Mr Sheehan for €200,000, but had been asked for security.

Mr Sheehan said: "On February 7, Ted arrived in my office... he carried two plastic bags... two Blarney Woollen Mills holdall plastic bags. He said: 'I have the sterling, £175,000'."

He gave Cunningham the three cheques, but days later he became aware that Cunningham was being investigated and called the Garda.

The charges stated that Cunningham, from Farran, Co Cork, was reckless over whether the money represented the proceeds of criminal conduct – namely the Northern Bank robbery on December 20, 2004.

The financial adviser was yesterday rearraigned in a Cork court on two of the charges to which he pleaded guilty.

He was remanded on bail for sentencing on February 27.

BACKGROUND

The Northern Bank robbery in the centre of Belfast – the largest cash robbery in the UK when it happened just before Christmas 2004 – was quickly blamed on the IRA. It caused chaos in the peace process as unionists accused Sinn Fein of acting in bad faith.

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