Woman who laundered cash was ‘puppet’ to her partner

By Rosanna Cooney

A woman who admitted laundering cash stolen from a Cavan-based hardware firm of thousands of euro in an email scam was a “puppet” to her abusive partner, a court has heard.

Lawyers for Dubliner Annie Trieu (29) said she did not question her violent partner when he told her to withdraw €34,587 that had been deposited into her account by General Hardware Supplies Ltd. in September 2017.

Criminal Courts of Justice 2 09032017

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court

Her lawyer told Dublin Circuit Criminal Court that during their relationship Trieu presented herself multiple times to hospital, “battered and bruised” and on one occasion with “staples in her head”.

Sarah Jane O’Callaghan BL told the court that this was as a result of domestic violence inflicted upon her by her former partner.

A Tallaght-based detective described Trieu as a “puppet” in the money-laundering scam and said he was confident she was not the involved in the initial email scheme.

Trieu of Sundale Park, Tallaght pleaded guilty to one count of laundering of money at Tallaght district credit union on dates between September 13 and September 31, 2017.

The court heard she withdrew the money and, as instructed by her partner, gave some of it to him.

She deposited the rest of it into her credit union account in Tallaght in four separate lodgements.

The court heard that in September 2017 her bank account details were given in an email invoice from Ballytherm Ltd., with an address in Co. Limerick to General Hardware Supplies Limited, who are based in Co. Cavan.

The two companies frequently did business together and the bank account number that was given in this particular invoice differed only in one digit to the bank account number that had in previous invoices been supplied to the General Hardware Supplies Limited.

Suspicions arose when Ballytherm Limited confirmed they had not received the payment from General Hardware Supplies Limited in October 2017.

The gardaí were alerted by the financial controller of General Hardware Supplies Ltd. and the money was traced by gardaí to Trieu’s bank account.

Her lawyer told the court that the first Trieu heard of the email scam was from gardaí.

She told gardaí that she believed her former partner did not have a bank account and routinely allowed him to use her account so his mother could send him money.

Judge Pauline Codd described Trieu as being “blinded by love” for her former partner.

She sentenced her to eighteen months imprisonment but suspended the sentence in full, taking into account the plea of guilty and the violent and difficult nature of her relationship with her former partner.

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