Doctor narrowly avoided losing €18,000 in email scam, court has heardGary Ibbotson 14 Jan 2022
By Brion Hoban
A doctor narrowly avoided losing €18,000 in pension funds in an email misdirection scam when the owner of the bank account used in the scam became suspicious, a court has heard.
After giving his bank details to a friend, Alexander Cribbin (21) realised things were not “legitimate” when the large lodgement arrived into his account.
Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that a doctor had transferred the money into the account because he mistakenly believed he was replying to an email from his pension broker.
After becoming suspicious, Cribbin did nothing with the money and the bank was able to recall the funds and return them to the doctor.
Cribbin of Woodford Downs, Clondalkin, pleaded guilty to possession of the proceeds of criminal conduct within the state on November 1, 2019. He has no previous convictions.
Detective Garda Cathal Feeley told John Berry BL, prosecuting, that a doctor was dealing over email with what he thought was his pension broker and arranged to lodge a sum of money just in excess of €18,000.
Det Gda Feeley said the emails had been compromised and the doctor’s email was actually being received by a third party who gave the doctor Cribbin’s bank details.
The doctor later made contact with his broker and she told him she had not sent any emails. The doctor put in a request to recall the money, which was successful due to the actions of Cribbin, the court heard.
In interview with gardaí, Cribbin said he had been approached by a friend who had made money in “trading” and asked for use of his bank account.
Cribbin gave his friend the bank details, but was later contacted via Snapchat by a person he did not know who told him his account would be used.
Cribbin told gardaí that when he saw the amount of money that was transferred into his account he realised it was not “legitimate”.
He said he was in Paris at the time and made a point of not using the bank account for the remainder of the trip.
The court heard that nobody other than Cribbin had access to the account in order to withdraw the money and because no funds were spent by him, the full amount was able to be successfully recalled by the bank.
Det Gda Feeley said he believed that Cribbin would not have withdrawn the money from his account had he been asked.
At a hearing last May, Judge Martin Nolan said that it seemed that Cribbin’s actions meant the money “could never have been taken from the account”. He said for that reason he would give the accused “leniency”.
Judge Nolan said he intended to impose a deferred sentence. He said that Cribbin must be of good behaviour for the next six months and indicated he would impose a sentence of six months’ imprisonment if Cribbin did not abide by that condition.
Today the court heard that Cribbin had abided by the conditions of the deferral and Judge Nolan discharged him from the indictment.