Internet Dating and Romance Scams

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IT technician stole £25k charity cash for Nigerian scammers

Published Date: 11 May 2010
AN IT Technician caught up in an internet honeytrap scam transferred £25,000 collected from charity donations to fraudsters in Nigeria, a court has heard.
Brian MacKay, 40, had befriended a Nigerian lady he met in a chatroom and she persuaded him to move the money which had been paid via a website.

Fiscal depute Ruth Ross-Davie told the Edinburgh Sheriff Court the money had been given by individualsADVERTISEMENT

on the understanding it was for charity.

She said: “It was the police investigation of the payments of these monies which led to MacKay and when he was apprehended by police officers he acknowledged he understood the process was a dishonest one and he had been involved in a transfer of money from innocent parties to the fraudulent parties in Nigeria.

“His response to charge was – ‘I was very stupid, I have stopped it now and apologised, I know it was wrong.'”

MacKay, of Easter Road, Edinburgh, admitted receiving £25,635 through the Western Union Money Transfer System to Cash Converters, at the city’s Leith Walk, and transferring the criminal property to third parties in Nigeria, whose identities are unknown.

The offence happened at Cash Converters, Leith Walk, Edinburgh, and elsewhere between 1 May, 2008, and 31 July, 2008.

Defence agent Cameron Tait said: “He met this lady on an internet chatroom and at the time he had been suffering from depression.

“He had a relationship of his own fall apart and was spending a lot of time on these chatrooms.

“Over the period of time he was persuaded to give money for various family crises that this lady was supposed to be having difficulties with.

“He was giving between £4,000 and £5,000.

“The position after that was she had made contact with him by e-mail and persuaded him there was a relationship and he was persuaded to go to Cash Converters and make certain money transfers.

“When he made the transfers he did not think it was fraudulent. He never met this woman.”

Mr Tait added that MacKay was in a new relationship and was employed full time as an IT Technician.

He also said that between his wage and his partner and brother’s earnings he hoped to pay the cash back to the people who thought they were donating to charity at a rate of £1,000 per month.

Sheriff Deidre MacNeill QC deferred sentence on MacKay until next month for background reports.

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May 12, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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