Five 'money mules' who cops believe were recruited to steal cash for serial conman Jay Cartmill have been given suspended sentences.
Eugene Coiley (50), Susan Crowe (27), Gareth Marron (29), Ally Young (21) and Nigel Fannon (43) withdrew tens of thousands of pounds that were illegally deposited in their bank accounts by fraudsters.
Trying to avoid attention, they took the cash from ATMs and foreign currency exchanges in multiple small amounts.
After handing the money to criminal 'herders', they were rewarded with payments of 25% of the overall total.
The five are among 215 money mules who police believe were recruited by members of Cartmill's crime gang.
The investigation into the 40-year-old, who is on remand at Maghaberry Prison on a separate fraud charge, is among the biggest financial crime probes ever conducted by the PSNI's Economic Crime Unit.
Nearly all of the victims were old people who do not use internet banking and had no idea their life savings had been electronically stolen.
Cartmill was named in court last month as the "principal suspect and mastermind" behind a multimillion-pound fraud.
A police officer made the accusation after the west Belfast conman was refused bail in a separate case, with a second bail application later rejected amid concerns he was preparing to flee to Spain.
During the first hearing, a magistrate was told Cartmill has 159 previous criminal convictions, 86 of which were "fraud-related" and that his past victims include TV presenter Stephen Nolan.
A detective constable added the fraudster had been on police bail since last summer over "a substantial amount of fraud and attempted fraud in which we believe he is the principal suspect and mastermind".
This was a reference to the money mules scheme over which dozens of people have been recently convicted in courts across Northern Ireland.
Cartmill is well-known in west Belfast and is the director of two restaurants.
The convicted conman loves lavishing money on expensive holidays and in March spent four days at the Cheltenham horse-racing festival for his stag trip.
He has also blown tens of thousands on Champagne helicopter trips to the Arctic Circle to see the Northern Lights and on five-star holidays in Dubai.
Earlier this year PSNI officers raided two businesses connected to Cartmill and the offices of his accountant associate Tony Clarke Jnr, who strongly denies any wrongdoing.
Cops suspect Cartmill was laundering the money mule cash through two west Belfast restaurants, keeping the cruel scam secret from his unsuspecting business partners.
Clarke, whose offices on the Andersonstown Road were searched by police, is a director of Suffolk Inn Ltd, from which Cartmill leases a restaurant.
There is no suggestion the 34-year-old accountant had any knowledge of the fraudster's alleged crimes.
The five latest money mules to be sentenced at Belfast Crown Court stole a total of £57,991 between them.
They are Eugene Coiley, from Crumlin Road, Belfast; Susan Crowe, with an address at Jocelyn Avenue, Belfast; Gareth Marron, from Lisfaddan Crescent in Belfast; Ally Young from Yew Street in Belfast; and Nigel Fannon, with an address at Forthriver Park in Belfast.