Belfast Telegraph

OAP spared prison over £15,000 fraud

A west Belfast pensioner turned money mule crook has been ordered to pay his fraud victim £1,000 in compensation
A west Belfast pensioner turned money mule crook has been ordered to pay his fraud victim £1,000 in compensation

By John Cassidy

A west Belfast pensioner turned money mule crook has been ordered to pay his fraud victim £1,000 in compensation.

Judge Kevin Finnegan QC gave Patrick Joseph Manning six months to pay and warned him: "If you don't, you're going to jail."

Manning (72), of Helen's Wood Court in Dunmurry, was handed a nine-month sentence suspended for three years after he pleaded guilty to acquiring and converting criminal property.

Prosecution barrister Robin Steer told Belfast Crown Court the victim's bank account was compromised in 2016, after which £15,000 was stolen.

Manning later went to a number of bureau de change shops and withdrew €10,200.

Mr Steer told the court the victim's credit card was also compromised, with his mobile phone blocked by hackers.

He described the offending as a "sophisticated fraud" and said Manning, who had a relevant previous conviction, had played an important part in it.

Judge Finnegan said the "main organiser of the fraud" was not before the court and told Manning: "You were more than just a money mule. You were a money mule with a little bit extra."

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