A FINANCE student thought he was answering an ad for a job when he got involved in money laundering for a property rental scam.
Vishang Mehta (24) was “naive” when he agreed to let scammers use his bank account to transfer the proceeds of the fraud, a court heard.
Judge Bryan Smyth applied the Probation Act, sparing him a criminal record.
Mr Mehta, with an address at Ivy Exchange, Parnell Street, admitted possession of crime proceeds.
Dublin District Court heard the offence took place between July and November 2020.
The court heard the victim saw a property for rent on Daft.ie and responded to it, making a €700 lodgement into Mr Mehta’s bank account as a deposit.
Some €400 was transferred to an account outside the jurisdiction and the accused kept the rest, €300, for himself.
Mr Mehta had no previous convictions, co-operated with gardaí and wrote a letter of apology.
Mr Mehta came from India to better his life and responded to an online ad soon after arriving, his lawyer said.
He thought it was an offer of employment and provided his bank details as part of his “contract”. The details were then used by the scammers.
The first he knew that it was a scam was when gardaí contacted him.
“My client at no point contacted the injured party,” the lawyer said. “He thought he was replying to an advertisement for employment.”
The ad began “Hello, beautiful people, I have a part time job offer,” Judge Smyth said.
“Who in their right mind would say oh, I got that job?” the judge asked.
“A naive person who has just come into the country,” the lawyer said.
Mr Mehta now works as a financial administrator. He had €1,200 in compensation in court and the judge said that should go to the victim.