Student paid €1,000 into Longford man's account for bogus accommodation

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Longford court house.

A Longford man charged with fraudulently inducing a student to transfer €1,000 into a bank account believing the money would be used to acquire third level accommodation has been handed a suspended prison sentence.

Gabriel Adedej Olusanya (52), 34 Oakland Green, Longford was charged after the four figure sum was paid into an EBS bank account at Main Street, Longford on New Year’s Eve 2016.

Sgt Paddy McGirl told last week’s sitting of Longford District Court the initial advert for the accommodation had been placed online.

“Money was transferred to an account on the pretense of securing accommodation in Galway, but when she travelled to Galway it was found the address didn’t exist,” he said.

Noting how the offence took place over three years ago, Judge Hughes said: “I see it took some time to locate this gentleman.”

In defence, solicitor Trish Cronin said her client was adamant that while the incident took place, he was unaware of its circumstances.

Judge Hughes was quick to question those claims as he turned his ire on the father of four.

“I have the flu and I will get quite exhausted,” he said.

“He has had three years to prepare his defence.”

Having stood patiently beside his solicitor throughout, Mr Olusanya said the incident had come about entirely innocently.

“It was my brother in Nigeria,” he said.

“He sells beads and he has clients in France and Germany.”

Before being allowed to continue on with his take on what led up to the charge being levelled against him, Judge Hughes snapped: “This person was a student who replied to an accommodation advert.”

Mr Olusanya, however, continued to deny any involvement over what transpired.

“I never even knew this person (victim),” he said.

Ms Cronin said her client was a married father of four who, despite being out of work, had been resident in Longford since 2013.

“‘I’m not working,” interjected Mr Olusanya, adding he was currently receiving disability assistance.

Keen to see closer evidence of how the €1,000 fraud had been inadvertently assigned to his brother’s business, the case was put back for ‘second calling’.

After an adjournment of no more than 30 minutes, Mr Olusanya returned to stand beside Ms Cronin clutching his mobile phone.

In reference to “the beads man” as he termed him, Judge Hughes was handed Mr Olusanya’s phone.

Looking puzzled as he stared down at the phone, Judge Hughes said: “This is a hat you put on your head, what are you saying?”

Ms Cronin attempted to shed further light on the images on Mr Olusanya’s phone, claiming the hat Judge Hughes was referring to had been made out of beads from her client’s brother’s business.

Judge Hughes brushed aside those claims however, saying: “This (hat) is only for anybody walking around in France, not for walking around in Galway.”

In a question which drew laughter from the public gallery, Judge Hughes asked Ms Cronin about her feelings on the topic.

“This (hat) would be suitable to wear at a Nigerian wedding, would you wear that?”

Trying to maintain her composure, Ms Cronin replied: “I don’t think so, no. I don’t believe it would suit me.”

Still holding onto Mr Olusanya’s phone, Judge Hughes continued to browse through a number of images.

“I’d better not go to far or click and swipe anything I wouldn’t want to see,” he joked amid much amusement.

Ms Cronin said the reason the funds may have ended up in her client’s account was because it was one which operated under the euro system.

Judge Hughes, nonetheless handed Mr Olusanya a four month prison sentence, suspending it for a period of three years.

The €1,000 compensation was also handed into court.