Man jailed for opening bank accounts with fake IDs
A Romanian man has been sentenced to four and a half years in prison for money laundering. He was caught opening accounts for criminal organizations by using fake documentation.
Radu Agapie of Artane in Dublin pleaded guilty to two counts of money laundering, two counts of fraud, and one count of able to prove an offence arising out of the sale or supply to or procuration by him or any person under his control
Agapie has been convicted in Finland 10 times for falsifying documents, forging money and laundering the proceeds of crime.
Judge Susan Greally noted Agapie had spent a short time in prison for his previous convictions in Finland a year before his offences in Ireland and then came to Ireland and engaged in “very serious and sophisticated acts of fraud.”
The court had to have regard to the fact he was playing a very vital role in a larger criminal organisation.
The judge considered that he had a cocaine addiction and was an immigrant, and that time in prison could be difficult and isolating. He noted that he was making the most of his time in custody.
Judge Greally imposed a six year sentence and suspended the final 18 month on conditions that Agapie leaves the country upon his release and not return for a period of ten years.
Garda John Carmody told the prosecutor, Grainne O’Neill BL, that the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau had been working with Interpol and other agencies in an international-wide intelligence led investigation into criminal organizations involved in money laundering and fraud.
Garda identified a number of companies which had bank accounts set up on their behalf they believed were being used for money laundering. Agapie was identified as a person of interest.
A number of addresses were uncovered where members of the organisation had bank accounts. One of the addresses found was a place of residence for members used in their banking.
A search was conducted at the Timber Mills apartment, and police recovered fake documentation and identity cards from a bedroom where they found Agapie asleep.
The Gardaí found a printer, a scanner, guillotine, and other tools used in the process of counterfeiting. They also found five fictitious identity cards with Agapie’s photograph on each one.
Agapie was not the lease holder and did not falsify the leasing.
During court proceedings, the bank statements and withdrawals from three accounts were scrutinized. Together, these transactions totaled €79,564 and €65,660. The fraudulent accounts opened face-to-face required a high level of evidence and documentation.
Police Chief Carmody agreed with Keith Spencer BL, defending, that Agapie had been calm and pleasant to deal with and had been in the custody of the police since he was apprehended on that date.
Mr Spencer argued that his client’s role was to enable and facilitate, not one of direct gain. Agapie should be shown leniency as much as possible.
He grew up in Romania, where his parents became small farmers. For example, he has worked in various locations around Europe, including in a slaughterhouse in Germany and a factory in Scotland.
Attorney Archy Agapie said that his client was “simply involved in this type of conduct” and that during the time he was committing crime, he had been addicted to cocaine. Mr. Agapie described his client as someone who wants to put a stop to offenses from deep in the past and who has used his time in custody productively.
Mr Spencer said the client did not benefit from any money deposited in these accounts, but was responsible for laundering the money. The alleged offences were committed recklessly.
He asked for the sentence to be part suspended on condition Agapie leaves the country.