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28 Nov 2021

Fraudsters tried to launder large amount of stolen money through Derry Credit Union

Court told that the scam was uncovered before they got their hands on the cash

Derry Credit Union

The stolen money was lodged in an account at Derry Credit Union.

Fraudsters opened an account at Derry Credit Union in a bid to launder stolen money, a court was told today.

A total of £4,000 was lodged into a false account at the local credit union in 2019 before the criminals tried to withdraw the money.

However, staff at the credit union were alerted to the scam and police were able to arrest one of the fraudsters when he arrived to try and take out the money.

Derry Magistrates Court today heard that Jemil Adebisi, who is 27 years-old and whose address was given as Titan Apartments, Wyke, Bradford, had admitted dishonestly making a false representation to open the credit union account.

A prosecution solicitor told the court that on June 24, 2019, the PSNI were contacted by maangement at Derry Credit Union.

They told the officers that Adebisi had attempted to withdraw the money in an account linked to him.

However, the local credit union had received a report from online payment company Worldpay that the original deposits into the account were completed via stolen or 'skimmed' cards.

The deposits were all completed over the phone and all personal details for the account had been confirmed by Adebisi.

He had telephoned the credit union several times asking about the amount in the account and had then attended the credit union and tried to withdraw the full amount which was £4,000.

The solicitor said Adebisi was arrested and a number of personal details which he had provided to credit union staff were checked out by police.

He had said that he worked in a local call centre.

When the PSNI checked with the company, they said that Adebisi was not an employee of theirs.

An address in Derry which he had given to the credit union also turned out to be false.

On June 25, 2019, he was charged and subsequently admitted opening the account and giving false details.

He denied involvement in the transfer of the money to the savings account and claimed that a 'mutual friend' had set it up with a third party.

He confirmed setting up with the account with the intention of withdrawing the money before splitting it with an 'unknown party'.

Defence solicitor, Stephen Mooney, said it was clear that his client had not been operating on his own in relation to the fraud.

He said Adebisi was a 'money mule' who had been paid a small amount of money to open an account into which a larger amount of money was deposited.

Mr Mooney suggested that the other person involved may have been the 'brains of the operation'.

The solicitor said Adebisi had admitted his role in the operation, in that he had given false details to the credit union in order to open an account.

Mr Mooney said one mitigating factor was that the fraud had been stopped before any loss had been suffered by the organisations involved.

He said Adebisi had pleaded guilty and made full admissions to his role.

He added that the defendant had a previously clear criminal record and was keen to put this matter behind him.

Sentencing in the case was adjourned until Thursday, January 21, to allow Adebisi to link into the court remotely from his home in England.

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