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Home Dublin Money mule teenager receives suspended sentence

Money mule teenager receives suspended sentence

By Brion Hoban

A young man who allowed his bank account be used to receive over £10,000 which was the proceeds of criminal conduct has received a fully suspended sentence.

Gerdas Svambaris (20) was aged 18 when he agreed to store the money for payment, but was unable to withdraw any of the money as his account was frozen following the lodgement.

Svambaris of Esker Meadows Lawn, Lucan, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possession of the proceeds of criminal conduct at AIB, Main st., Lucan, on April 24, 2019. He has no previous convictions.

Judge Melanie Greally said this was yet another case of a young man at “a very young age” being approached by “more menacing elements in the criminal underworld” to accept funds into a legitimately held bank account and being prevailed to make a withdrawal.

Judge Greally said in this case the account was frozen so no party was at a loss. She said the origin of the money is yet to be established.

She said this was a “very unfortunate case again” of a young man setting out in life who will now have a criminal conviction for a very serious offence.

She said the accused appears very much to have learnt his lesson.

Judge Greally sentenced Svambaris to nine months imprisonment, but suspended the sentence in its entirety on strict conditions.

Detective Garda Damien Reilly told Sinéad Ni Chúalacháín BL, prosecuting, that gardaí were contacted by AIB officials after an attempt to process a payment of £10,913 was made.

Det Gda Reilly said CCTV footage obtained from the branch in question showed the accused man attempted to make a large cash withdrawal from his account, but was unable to do so as his account had been frozen.

In interview with gardaí following his arrest, Svambaris admitted he had received the money into his account.

He said he had been asked by people to store the money and was promised payment in return, but never received any payment.

Det Gda Reilly agreed with Tom Neville BL, defending, that his client was aged 18 at the time of the offence and was about to sit his Leaving Certificate.

He agreed his client has nothing else pending before the courts.

He agreed with counsel that his client has “disassociated” from anything that might lead him in this direction again. He agreed that there was an element of fear involved and that the accused had attempted to back out.

The detective agreed Svambaris has been assessed as a low-risk of reoffending and said he did not expect to see him before the court again.

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