Financier sentenced in Northern Bank case
A FINANCIER who laundered some of the proceeds of the £26.5m Northern Bank robbery received a five-year suspended sentence and was ordered to quit the finance industry.
Timothy 'Ted' Cunningham (65) avoided jail as the Circuit Criminal Court heard he was "used" by a ruthless and vicious IRA gang with the aim of "mingling" cash from the December 2004 raid with money from legitimate business deals.
Cunningham was sentenced after he pleaded guilty to two counts of money laundering on the second week of his Cork Circuit Criminal Court trial.
The robbery – on December 20 2004 – remains the biggest bank raid in Irish history with a total of £26.5m being stolen (€32m). The father of three was originally convicted and sentenced to 10 years in prison in April 2009 for money laundering following a 10-week trial.
But that conviction was later quashed on the basis of a problem with the specific type of warrant used by gardai.
A retrial was ordered which opened before Judge Sean O Donnabhain on February 13.
In the trial's second week, Cunningham pleaded guilty to two of the nine charges.
Inspector Colm Noonan said the Gardai and PSNI are convinced the Northern Bank robbery was committed by a ruthless IRA gang.
A number of people with suspected subversive contacts were placed under surveillance and, as a result of intelligence obtained, Cunningham, of Woodbine Lodge, Farran, Co Cork, came to Garda attention.
Inspector Noonan said gardai accept that Cunningham had no subversive involvement but was "used" by the gang to help launder some of the money.
After his 2009 conviction, Cunningham served three years and two months in prison.
Judge O Donnabhain said that in light of Cunningham's age, his health, his guilty plea and his willingness to resign from his firm, he would impose a suspended term.